What do today’s working fathers want on Father’s Day?
Published: 18 Jun 2017
Survey finds 40% of today’s working fathers want a more active role in their children’s lives.
New figures from work life balance charity Working Families show that what today’s fathers really need this Father’s Day is more flexibility at work.
Over 300 fathers took part in our survey. We found that:
- More than a third of fathers (36%) say their current working arrangements don’t support them to fulfil childcare responsibilities.
- Four out of ten fathers (40%) want to play a more active role in the upbringing of their children.
- One in five fathers (18%) want to share childcare responsibilities more equally with their partner.
Sarah Jackson OBE, Chief Executive of Working Families, said:
Happy Father’s Day – to those fathers who are already doing things differently, and the many others who would like a better balance between work and family life.
The last Government rejected a call to create a properly paid period of independent leave for fathers on cost grounds. But failing to enable the UK’s 11 million working parents to reach their potential is truly a false economy. The UK is risking a ‘fatherhood penalty’, with many fathers ready to downshift or compromise their careers.
The new Government should prioritise revisiting this issue: properly paid leave that makes time away from work to spend with new children a realistic option for more fathers would be a game-changer for thousands of families.
The important work that the Women and Equalities Select Committee is doing looking at how to support fathers in the workplace should resume without delay.
John-George, a father who participated in the survey, said:
My employer are very supportive in my role as a father and have been great in allowing me to work flexibly. I want to be able to balance my work life and family life. I want to raise my children and to spend quality time with them. I want them to see me and my wife as equal carers.
Matt, a father who participated in the survey, said:
I am a full time stay at home father to my daughter. I have been lucky in that the network of mums my wife had during her maternity leave have been very accepting of me becoming a full time parent. However there is a lack of role models for men who chose to stay at home and some of my friends would like to take parental leave but cannot afford to because their employer is not supportive financially. I still feel like a bit of an oddity when out and about with my daughter.
The DaddiLife Community, which supported the survey, said:
Dads have spoken, and now it’s time to listen. Across the Daddilife community we’ve seen how dads increasingly want to fulfil a much more balanced parenting role without suffering a ‘fatherhood penalty’ – either at home or at work. The fact that recent research also shows that a staggering 72% of working dads are close to burnout shows just how critical this situation is.
DaddiLife and Working families have also produced a video this Father’s Day to highlight how younger fathers think about work alongside their fatherhood goals, and how this has changed compared to their own fathers.