Stacey Solomon supports six-month paternity leave as ‘dads are just as essential’

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Stacey Solomon, 31, has voiced her support for six-month paternity leave introduced by retailer John Lewis, as she says it helps promote the idea that fathers are just as important as mothers.

She was back on the Loose Women panel on Friday for the first time since her exciting pregnancy announcement, alongside host Kaye Adams and Nadia Sawahla and Judi Love.

Kaye asked Stacey: "Would that be welcomed in your house, would Joe [Swash] welcome that, do you think?"

Stacey, who is engaged to Joe Swash, 39, and already has a two-year-old son with him, replied: "Yeah, definitely.

"I think first of all if a company has the funds and is able to provide that service, I think it's really important.

Stacey said equal paternity and maternity leave options could prevent hiring discrimination

Stacey and Joe got engaged earlier this year with the help of her family
(Image: Instagram/staceysolomon)

"Not just because I think men need the time off or deserve the time off, I think it's important for the narrative we have for men as fathers.

"I think they are sort of classed as a second class parent, not as important or essential as a mum, and I think that creates issues further down the line when it comes to the bond they have with their children and their rights or ability to be a part of their children's life in the future."

She continued: "Having a big retailer recognise paternity leave is as important as maternity leave, and that a father's role in a child's life is as important as a mother's role in a child's life, is a huge step towards the way we condition ourselves to believe mums are more important than dads."

Stacey Solomon with fiance Joe Swash and sons Rex, Leighton and Zachary
(Image: Stacey Solomon/Instagram)

Stacey said her sons are "so excited" to welcome their new sibling at the end of 2021

As the conversation moved to the topic of the breadwinning parent being the one to return to work, Stacey said: "More men will earn more than women across the board, but does that mean women would want to be with their children more?

"I really don't think it does.

"And if you get these big corporations offering paternity leave to mirror maternity leave, you won't get the discrimination that sometimes happens get where corporations won't hire women in case they take maternity leave, because men can also take paternity leave

"So I think overall it will change the infrastructure of a lot of things that have big flaws in at the moment."

* Loose Women airs weekdays on ITV at 12:30pm

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