LIBERAL Democrat Minister for Equalities and Women Jo Swinson MP has announced plans for changes to support the role of fathers by extending the right to paternity leave from two to six weeks.

"When parents share caring responsibilities, more equality in the workplace will follow," she said.

Welcoming the move by the Lib Dems, Paul Apreda, National Manager for FNF Both Parents Matter Cymru, said:

‘We’ve been grateful for the support of Lib Dems in Wales for these sorts of policies that tackle the widespread exclusion of fathers from the lives of children. We can now see how the party is translating words into action.

"This contrasts dramatically with the policies of Welsh Labour who are about to release new Parenting Guidance in Wales full of 'warm words' but containing no practical proposals whatever to tackle the widespread exclusion and marginalisation of fathers."

Ms Swinson said it was "nonsense" to believe mothers should be left to care for children alone.

She added: "Most dads want to spend more time with their new baby, but can sometimes be discouraged by outdated ideas and cultural barriers in the workplace.”

The FNF Both Parents Matter Cymru charity is currently gathering signatures for a petition to the Assembly committee headed by Lib Dem AM William Powell to call on the Welsh Government to do more to tackle the huge problem of ‘disposable dads’ who are ignored or marginalised by statutory services.

"We have set out a six point plan which includes support for dads to be encouraged to play a much more hands on role – allowing more women to return to work which should help create a more equal society both in the home and in the workplace. Currently the Welsh Government has no idea how effective the services they fund are in working with men as they refuse to even record the gender of the parents engaged," said Paul Apreda.