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New dads are struggling to secure flexible working

Han-Son Lee

A new report reveals the seismic shift in how a new generation of working dads view their home and working life. The research, in association with Deloitte, shows that more dads than ever before (58 percent) are now actively involved in day to day parenting and are looking for workplace flexibility which is still not currently provided by the majority of UK employers. Contributor Han-Son Lee, Founder – Daddilife

The report from Daddilife revealed that: 63 percent of new dads at work have requested a change in working pattern since becoming a father. 14 percent of millennial dads have requested to work from home between 1-2 days per week, but less than 1 in 5 of those dads (19 percent) are granted it. Nearly 40 percent of dads have requested a change in working hours with 44 percent of them being unsuccessful. Only 56 percent believed that fathers were treated equally to mothers in their workplaces. 45 percent of working fathers regularly experienced tension from their employer when trying to balance work and family life demonstrating a growing disconnect between home and workplace. 39 percent regularly experience tension from colleagues.

Han-Son Lee, Founder of Daddilife said: “Fathers are more involved in day to day parenting than ever before yet many employers cling on to old fashioned views of society where mum stays at home and takes on the childcare and dad works all hours to provide for the family.  We know first-hand from listening to working dads in the Daddilife community, that there is a real gap in provision for new working fathers who need support to help them navigate the world of paternity leave, flexible working, and dealing with employers who refuse to listen.

“What is clear from our research is that society is changing fast and if organisations want to retain their best employees, Government and Business need to drive meaningful change for a new generation of fathers.  We’ve built our new campaign hub to speed up that change by shining a light on those who are doing it well, and providing the advice that dads desperately need.” 

Emma Codd, Managing Partner for Talent at Deloitte, said: “We are delighted to be able to support this important research which has highlighted the change still needed in many businesses when it comes to ways of working and support provided to working parents. Agile working has long been a key priority and focus for Deloitte – enabling everyone to balance their commitments outside work with a successful career is critical to our ability to attract and retain the best people; these findings serve to show why this focus is so important.”

Other striking results to emerge from the research show how existing practices affect mental health; 37 percent admitting that their mental health is negatively affected as a result of trying to balance work and parental responsibilities. 45 percent report a negative effect when it comes to being able to switch off, and 61 percent experiencing feelings of guilt with their partner and 51 percent guilt with their children at home.

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