Dads ‘afraid to ask for child-friendly hours’

Family|March 22nd 2017

Many fathers fear they would be penalised by their employers if they asked for flexible, child-friendly working hours MPs have suggested.

The parliamentary Women and Equalities Committee has launched an enquiry into attitudes towards fathers at work and began taking evidence on the issue today (Wednesday 22 March).

The enquiry was prompted by research showing that many fathers experience significant pressure from employers, to the extent of questioning their commitment if they ask for flexible working hours. They are much more likely than mothers to believe that parent-friendly hours would affect their career and 44 per cent admit to lying to their bosses about family responsibilities.

The Committee will examine fathers’ experiences and the specific challenges they face in the workplace, asking whether or not government policies like shared parental leave have proved to be effective.

Committee chair Maria Miller MP said

“The Government has brought in family friendly policies, such as Shared Parental Leave, but there are significant questions about whether culture at work has changed enough to enable the policy to be effective. We need to find out what we can learn from other countries… we will consider what fathers want, workplace culture and the barriers men face in combining work with childcare.”

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