Fathers ‘Looking To Downshift’ To Better Balance Work & Family

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The UK is at risk of creating a working environment where fathers choose to side-line or stall their careers in order to find jobs that enable them to strike up a better work/life balance.

This is according to a new study from charity Working Families, which has found that seven out of ten fathers choose to work flexibly so they’re able to fulfil their caring responsibilities with their children – but it was also revealed that half of those asked said they find their work/life balance to increasingly be a source of stress.

Workplace culture was found to be a key problem, with fathers admitting they work extra hours so they can handle their workload and also because being seen to put in the extra mile is important where they work. And almost one-fifth of those surveyed admitted that their employer is unsympathetic with regards to childcare, expecting there to be no disruption to work at all.

“To prevent a ‘fatherhood penalty’ emerging in the UK – and to help tackle the motherhood penalty – employers need to ensure that work is designed in a way that helps women and men find a good work-life fit. Making roles flexible by default and a healthy dose of realism when it comes to what can be done in the hours available are absolutely vital,” chief executive of the organisation Sarah Jackson said.

Now, the Women and Equalities Committee has opened an inquiry into these matters, calling for views from organisations and individuals by March 1st this year. Find out how to make your views known on the Parliament website.

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