Labour Research November 2009

Equality news

Working fathers

British dads want more time with their children, but fear that asking for flexible working arrangements will damage their careers. And almost half of men (45%) do not take two weeks’ paternity leave following the birth of their child because they cannot afford to.

These findings are among those in a report from the Equality and Human Rights Commission (EHRC) which says fathers are struggling with long hours to balance work and family.

“Fathers are telling us they are not spending enough time with their families and want to take a more active role in shaping the lives of their children,” said EHRC spokesperson, Andrea Murray.

Plans are in hand to increase the current two weeks’ paternity leave from April 2011 (see page 19), but the government’s own research has found that the estimated take-up will be abysmally low.