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New parental leave policy encouraging fathers to take time off work

The new five week, “use-it-or-lose-it” parental leave policy is causing a discussion, but not a lot of change at least for one father in Lloydminster.

The Federal Government released a new policy on parental leave in their 2018 budget last week. The new policy is an extra five week incentive for fathers to encourage them to spend more time with their newborn children. As well as, allowing same sex couples to each get time off work to do the same.

Lloydminster resident and father of two Darren Bute decided to take parental leave for both his children in 2013 and 2014. He says that his wife took the first 11 months and he took the last month.

“Even with the financial hit that it takes the benefits of bonding with my kid and having that time with them was so beneficial.”

Bute says he initially was unaware of paternity leave and says this new policy wouldn’t have changed his decision to take a month off within the one year allotted to parental leave. He adds that in many cases the man makes more money than the woman and therefore this option wouldn’t financially make sense for most families.

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“Often not always, but often the dad is the one who makes more money and so it makes sense for him to continue working because the parental leave doesn’t pay your full salary.”

The policy is based on a Quebec model that allows fathers to take five weeks paid leave, where up to 70 per cent of their income is covered.

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