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Fathers need more support to take paternity leave

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Newborns bring upheaval. The feeding cycles, change routines, sleeplessness and sheer busy-ness of having a new person in the home can upend even the calmest parents. It's disappointing then that so few fathers apparently take time out to be with their partner after the birth of a baby.

The Australian Institute of Family Studies estimates only one-in-20 fathers or partners seize the chance to spend even a few weeks with their family. And although 85 per cent of men say they’d be happy to take three months off work to be the primary care-giver, it seems financial impediments and entrenched notions of gender roles overwhelm them.

Labor MP Amanda Rishworth believes the community's attitudes need to change. She wants to re-open debate about parental leave arrangements and eradicate what she suggests are cultural barriers deterring men from taking time away from work. Ms Rishworth wants to explore what types of policies might encourage more parents, especially fathers, to........

© Brisbane Times