Pimlico Plumbers chief slams plans to extend paternity leave

Pimlico Plumbers owner Charlie Mullins has branded Government plans to extend paternity leave as ‘ludicrous’, saying proposals will not benefit parents and simply create more red tape for struggling businesses.

Under new government proposals, from 2011 fathers will be able to take an additional six months' paternity leave, of which three would be paid at the statutory rate of pay and three months unpaid – based on the mother relinquishing six months of her maternity leave.

Commenting on the plans, Mullins, managing director of Pimlico Plumbers, which employs over 168 staff from its base in South London, said: “Planned changes to paternity leave are ludicrous. They will create nothing more than piles of extra red tape for businesses already struggling in the recession, and will not help the very parents they claim to be benefiting.

“Many people are desperately clawing to hold on to their jobs at the moment and to make ends meet. The last thing a new father wants, when the family is undergoing a major financial shift with the arrival of another mouth to feed, is a considerable drop in wages.”

A recent report from the Equality and Human Rights Commission (EHRC) has found almost half (45%) of men fail to take two weeks' paternity leave after the birth of their child, with the most common reason provided being because they can't afford to.

Two-fifths admit fearing that asking for flexible working arrangements would result in their commitment to their job being questioned and would negatively affect their chances of a promotion.

Charlie added: “The changes are completely unnecessary and will mean added costs for everyone, including the Government - and most fathers I have spoken to don’t even want it! I wonder where these ludicrous proposals are going to end.”