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Time Off: Paternity Leave and Vacation Time

More companies offer new fathers more paid time off to spend with their new baby and mom. The rub is that companies are having a hard time persuading dads to take advantage of the offer. The Wall Street Journal reported recently that Deloitte surveyed more than 1,000 US workers and one-in-three said they worried that taking time off would jeopardize their careers, and more than half said that if they used the parental-leave benefits available to them it would be seen as a lack of commitment to the job.

In another study by researchers at Ball State University and Ohio State found that only 14% of fathers who take leave do so for more than 2 weeks. I found this interesting because there are clearly historical biases that influence the failure to take advantage of paternity leave benefits, but it is also a more significant issue. In the US taking time off is a challenge for executives because most expect that he or she will remain online, and time off beyond a week is often a real or perceived challenge. We should take a page from the European script where holidays are a given and embraced by management.

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