More support needed for working fathers18th June 2012
Despite fathers taking a more active role in raising their children, many employers are failing to offer them the flexibility and support they need, new research has suggested.
A study undertaken by BT and the Employers Network for Equality & Inclusion (enei) showed that 67% of fathers don’t believe their employers have sufficient family-friendly policies in place. This is in spite of one in two fathers saying they do the majority or an equal share of the childcare.
Denise Keating, CEO of enei, said: “With traditional family roles having changed significantly in recent decades, a healthy workplace culture treats men and women equally. True gender equality will only happen when it is not only socially and culturally acceptable, but actually expected that fathers will play an equal part in the care and upbringing of their children.”
Employers risk “a perception of discrimination against the male workforce” if they fail to move with the times, Keating added.
They survey of 1,500 fathers revealed that:
• 49% of fathers want to be able to work flexibly
• 21% want to be able to take paternity leave
• 25% want their employer to be more understanding of the demands of fatherhood
• 38% would like support with child care
Caroline Waters, Director of People and Policy at BT and Chair of Employers for Fathers, said that the findings should serve as ‘a real wake-up call for employers’. And companies should indeed take note, with almost half (46%) of those interviewed saying they would consider switching employers if they offered greater flexibility.