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Tuesday 27 September 2016
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SMEs 'against new paternity rights'

Legislation on paternity leave comes into force on April 3, giving new fathers the right to take six months off work.

But uswitchforbusiness.com said it found just 1% of SME owners think the new law will help their business.

Two-fifths apparently want the Government to exempt small businesses from having to fulfil the duty and around a third imply they will now discriminate against men whom they believe are prone to having a child in the near future: 32% of SME bosses say they would now think twice about the staff they employ.

The Treasury is reportedly considering such an exemption, meaning men working for businesses with a maximum 10 staff will have their new-found paternity rights removed. Making such an allowance for smaller companies may end up discouraging such firms from taking on more workers.

The website's James Constant said: "Our research shows that SMEs are prepared to change their hiring policy as a result of what many see as punitive new paternity leave rules."

Copyright © Press Association 2011

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