Many working fathers are afraid to request paternity leave as they believe this may lead to them being subject to unfair treatment, it has been claimed.
Commenting on the issue, Sally Gimson, the director of communications at the Family and Parenting Institute, said everyone should have the right to request flexible working.
Her comments were made in the wake of a study by the Equality and Human Rights Commission, which revealed that two in five men feared that requesting flexible working would lead to their commitment to work being questioned and would negatively affect their chances of promotion.
In addition, it was discovered that 45 per cent of male workers fail to take two weeks' paternity leave after the birth of their child, saying they cannot afford to do so.
Ms Gimson stated: "What we know is that fathers often feel that they want to spend more time with their children but they are made to work."