IPPR's senior research fellow, Kayte Lawton, said: "New parents need time away from work to care for their young children, and to strengthen their relationship with each other at what can be a hugely enjoyable but also very stressful time.
"However, this is often difficult for fathers because they have limited entitlements to paid leave, and so they often assume the role of breadwinner while their partner is on maternity leave."
The research is part of a report titled The Condition of Britain, which Ed Miliband will launch on Thursday, though the Labour party does not plan to take on all of the report's proposals.
Would more men take paternity leave if IPPR's ideas were taken on board and implemented in business? According to Richard Littlejohn... no. For men do not like babies. Women like cleaning up poop and wiping away dribble. Men hate it.
the idea that fathers might like to feature more in their partner and spawn's life is hardly obscene.
Littlejohn backs this up with Daily Mail statistics, noting that so far only 1.4% of new fathers have taken advantage of Nick Clegg's 2011 Additional Paternity Leave scheme. Littlejohn regards paternity leave as a "bribe" to stay away from work. A bribe us taxpayers have to fund! Doesn't it make you sick to think of a couple being able to support each other in the unfamiliar and sleep deprived world of the newborn?
Considering bookshops have autobiography sections groaning with misery memoirs about how Victorian style distant fathers caused the writer's need for constant approval and taking into account recent extreme cases of post natal depression the idea that fathers might like to feature more in their partner and spawn's life is hardly obscene. But Littlejohn has some daddy issues.
We all have daddy issues. The idea of an involved dad going beyond being the breadwinner who occasionally gives a piggyback ride when he's in a good mood is strangely amusing to us. A stay at home dad must not be able to get a job, right? That's why you occasionally hear men who manage the household self deprecatingly saying they are a 'domestic engineer' (dude I can't believe someone pro-created with you), because it's a woman's role and they are not worth financially supporting.
Littlejohn's hilarious imagined workplace conversations about paternity leave also completely miss out the fact that thanks to e-mail and Mr mobile telephone we are all always at work. Most people who have taken holiday leave know that their colleagues and boss will expect a similar level of productivity, even if a comprehensive handover sheet has been left. Paternity and maternity leave no doubt feature similar levels of expected 'checking in'.
The fact that women are apparently afraid to use all their maternity leave (maternity bribe?) for fear of losing their job doesn't bode well for men taking paternity leave at all. However as paternity leave slowly becomes more acceptable will it sound the death knell for the interview question so many young women get: Do you plan to have children? Or simply mean it will apply to all?