One in five (19%) new dads have faked illness at work to take care of the children and 20% of dads have changed jobs to better reconcile work and family obligations, according to a new report from telecommunications firm PowWowNow[i].
Adrian Lewis, director at Active Absence says, “Many men want to take a more active role caring for their children, and some are even prepared to leave their job to find an employer that better supports new fathers and recognises both genders have a shared responsibility for childcare duties.
“The Covid-19 crisis has changed how many people work, with more employers embracing flexible and remote working because they had to. But now is a prime opportunity for employers to continue this and introduce formal flexible working policies that support men and women who want to better balance their home and work lives.”
Other research from the Office for National Statistics[ii] found that the number of hours men were spending on childcare has increased by an average of 58% since lockdown began in March. Whereas in 2015, men spent 39% of the time women spent on childcare. In lockdown, this figure rose to 66%.
The think tank the Fatherhood Institute[iii] say that in order to maintain the amount of time fathers are spending on childcare post-lockdown; they would need an additional eight hours of free time each and are calling on the government to encourage fathers to embrace remote working if they can to spend more time on childcare.
Adrian Lewis adds, “Employers who want to recruit and retain the best people post Covid-19 will need to rethink their attitudes to flexible and remote working. Those that embrace it are likely to become employers of choice for both men and women, regardless of whether they have children now or plan them in the future.
“As people start going back to the office, we urge employers to ensure they have the right IT systems in place to continue offering flexible and remote working. The Covid-19 has shown many it can work, now they just need to make sure they can manage this effectively and be able to keep track of where people are, who is working, who is not and where they will be working.
“Investing in absence management technology can provide this transparency and clarity over who is working where at all times to ensure flexible working works for both the company and the employee. As companies get back to normal after the pandemic having a flexible working policy that works for new dads and mums can lead to happier, more motivated and productive employees. This is vital for businesses as the economy recovers.”