Fathers are discouraged from taking paternity leave because they feel they will lose money, a report has suggested.
Fathers cannot afford to take time off, the survey suggests
Under current rules, fathers are entitled to two weeks paid leave following the birth of their child.
Those claiming the right get £102.80 a week, or 90% of average weekly earnings if this is less, for two weeks.
However, nearly half of fathers quizzed by the Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development (CIPD) said that this level of paternity pay was too low.
By comparison, women are entitled to at least six weeks at 90% of their average salary, then 20 weeks at £102.80, according to the Maternity Alliance, a charity providing advice and information.
Four out of five of those interviewed said that they would take up their paternity entitlement if Statutory Paternity Pay (SPP) increased to 90% of full pay. At full pay the figure increased to 87% of fathers.
"Flexible employment policies are becoming embedded in the UK world of work," said Duncan Brown, CIPD assistant director.
"But fathers tell us they can't afford to spend time with their newborn children at current rates of paternity pay."
Almost a quarter of the 1,000 workers questioned by CIPD had requested some form of flexible working arrangement.
Of these, nearly nine out of 10 had their flexible working request granted by their employer.