Father with newborn When men take longer leave, two things happen: women return to work sooner, and men become more attuned to, and less tolerant of, those opportunity costs. (Photo: Shutterstock)

A lot of dads say they support paid leave for fathers to care for newborn children — but maybe they mean other fathers. The vast majority of men don’t take more than a week off, and they’re less likely to take time for a second child, according to new research from Ball State University.

Only 14 percent of fathers who take leave use more than two weeks, said Richard Petts, a father of two and a sociology professor at Ball State. He analyzed several sets of data on who uses parental leave and how. In one study, first-time dads were 77 percent more likely to take leave than a dad who had two or more children; another study found the newbies were 44 percent more likely to use time off.

“If you’re doing it for the first time, you’re extra excited, you don’t necessarily have the ‘This is going to be much harder than I thought’ idea,” said Petts, who became interested in the topic after he learned he had few options for paid leave after the birth of his son, 5, and daughter, 4.

Complete your profile to continue reading and get FREE access to BenefitsPRO.com, part of your ALM digital membership.

Your access to unlimited BenefitsPRO.com content isn’t changing.
Once you are an ALM digital member, you’ll receive:

  • Critical BenefitsPRO.com information including cutting edge post-reform success strategies, access to educational webcasts and videos, resources from industry leaders, and informative Newsletters.
  • Exclusive discounts on ALM, BenefitsPRO magazine and BenefitsPRO.com events.
  • Access to other award-winning ALM websites including ThinkAdvisor.com and Law.com

Already have an account?



Join BenefitsPRO

Don’t miss crucial news and insights you need to navigate the shifting employee benefits industry. Join BenefitsPRO.com now!

  • Unlimited access to BenefitsPRO.com - your roadmap to thriving in a disrupted environment
  • Access to other award-winning ALM websites including ThinkAdvisor.com and Law.com
  • Exclusive discounts on BenefitsPRO.com and ALM events.

Already have an account? Sign In Now
Join BenefitsPRO

Copyright © 2023 ALM Global, LLC. All Rights Reserved.