Research released yesterday by the Employers Network for Equality and Inclusion (enei) and BT has found that, while almost half of the fathers polled said they do the majority or an equal amount of childcare as mothers, two-thirds said they don’t think their employers offer sufficient family-friendly policies.
According to the findings, while 52 per cent of fathers said they manage to prioritise their family life, more than one-third said that they now work more than ever, which means that they often are not able to be as involved in it as they would like to be.
And a whopping 87 per cent of them said they want their employer to do more to help them with their parenting responsibilities, with a quarter of them wanting their employer to be more understanding of the demands of fatherhood.
Almost half of the father polled would like to be able to work flexibly and 38 per cent would like support with childcare. Perhaps surprisingly, only 21 per cent want to be able to take paternity leave.
However, perhaps most significantly for employers, 46 per cent of the fathers polled said they would consider changing their employer for greater flexibility in their working practice.
And enel also announced yesterday that it is incorporating with Employers 4 Fathers (E4F), which is a membership body comprised of employers concerned with retaining and engaging male workers who are also fathers.
Caroline Waters, Director of People and Policy at BT and Chair of E4F, said: “Many workplaces have introduced family friendly work practices, however men are often reluctant to access these policies due to the cultural expectations of their workplace, and a lack of male role models balancing work and family life.”
She added: “The evidence shows that fathers who work flexibly are more committed to their organisation – and feel that it is more committed to them – leading to greater engagement and the increased agility and productivity that comes with it.”