Home News & eventsNews Increased paternity leave is an opportunity for business to re-engage a lost generation of fathers at work

Increased paternity leave is an opportunity for business to re-engage a lost generation of fathers at work

Published: 9 Feb 2015

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Increased paternity leave is an opportunity for business to re-engage a lost generation of fathers at work

Working Families welcomes proposals to increase paternity leave from two to four weeks, and to increase the rate of statutory paternity pay.

The Modern Families Index, published by Working Families and Bright Horizons in January 2015, shows that young fathers are becoming increasingly involved in caring for their children and want to become more so but blame their employers for their lack of work-life balance.

Fathers today appear to be more involved. Working Families research[1] found that more than half (52%) of fathers were dropping their children at school every day or most of the time. But being more involved in family life is proving difficult at work, where the workplace culture is out of sync with fathers’ aspirations for family life: 30% of fathers felt resentful towards their employer about their work-life balance, a figure that rose to 47% for young fathers.

To provide access to family friendly policies and practices is key in enabling parents to achieve a good work-life balance, and there is an important role for government and employers here, both in ensuring that policy operates within a workplace culture that is supportive of family friendly working; and that managers and decision makers understand the benefits that can accrue from introducing them. These benefits include increased engagement, wellbeing and commitment at work, and, for the family, positive effects have been identified in building relationships and child development.

CEO of Working Families Sarah Jackson said, “To avoid a lost generation of fathers, disengaged and underperforming at work, businesses need to go with the grain of modern family life.  Young fathers want to be hands-on at home, and are resentful when work seems to provide less support to them than to mothers.  Increasing paternity leave from two weeks to four weeks, and doubling the rate of statutory paternity pay, will be welcomed by many families and should be by business leaders too.  It’s an opportunity to re-engage with a core group of employees, to help them to give their best at work by recognising that they also want to give their best at home”.

Ends

Notes to editors

The Modern Families Index was published on 27th January 2015 and is available to download here: https://workingfamilies.org.uk/wp-content/uploads/2015/01/Modern-Family-Index-full-report-FINAL.pdf

The sample was of 1010 working parents from across the UK. The survey ran online between 5th November and 19th November 2014. To participate in the survey there had to be at least one working parent or carer in the household, with at least one resident dependent under 18 years old. The sample achieved an almost equal response between genders: 515 female and 495 male. The sample was representative across the UK for age, gender and region.

Bright Horizons Bright Horizons Family Solutions is a leading UK provider of high-quality child care, early years education and other services designed to help employers and families better address the challenges of integrating work and family life. www.brighthorizons.co.uk

Working Families is the UK’s leading work-life organisation.  The charity supports and gives a voice to working parents and carers, whilst also helping employers create workplaces which encourage work-life balance for everyone. The Working Families legal helpline is for parents and their advisers and gives advice on employment rights for parents and benefits for families. The helpline is run by a team of solicitors and advisers and has an Advice Quality Standard Mark.  The helpline is supported by the Big Lottery Fund.  Call free on 0300 012 0312 or e-mail advice@workingfamilies.org.uk  www.workingfamilies.org.uk

For more information contact

Press Office on 020 7253 7243 or email julie.mccarthy@workingfamilies.org.uk

Out of hours press mobile: 07870 177096 (for urgent national enquiries up to 7pm)

[1] Modern Families Index, Working Families 2015