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Fathers Network Scotland ran a “Year of the Dad” campaign in 2016 as a “rallying call to services and employers to support dads, embrace family-friendly, inclusive practice and reflect the importance of fathers in child development”, and the campaign included a number of events and publicity material to support it.

Employment law, which is not devolved, was recently amended to allow shared parental law and shared parental pay for families having or adopting a child. This is on top of existing laws allowing for up to two weeks of paternity leave, as well as unpaid parental leave of up to four weeks a year.

In all four countries of the UK, unmarried fathers assume parental responsibility for their child if they are registered on the birth certificate.

In England and Wales, a court considering the contact or residence of a child is to presume that involvement of each parent in the life of the child concerned will further the child’s welfare. Noting that the applicable legislation in Scotland is over 20 years old, in its 2016 manifesto the SNP stated that it would “review the legislation to ensure the interests of children and their need to form and maintain relationships with key adults in their lives – parents, step-parents, grandparents and other family members – are at the heart of any new statutory measures”.

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