Fathers afraid to ask for flexible hours

23 March 2017 The government's Women and Equalities Committee has launched an inquiry into the issues holding fathers back from asking for flexible working arrangements following the birth of a child.

23 Mar 2017| News

23 March 2017

The government’s Women and Equalities Committee has launched an inquiry into the issues holding fathers back from asking for flexible working arrangements following the birth of a child.

On holding its first evidence session yesterday, the Committee said the investigation is an important one because research has shown fathers often feel unsupported by their employers when it comes to childcare responsibilities.

Fathers are twice as likely to believe that flexible working will negatively impact their career, compared with mothers, and 44% reported lying to their employer about their duties at home.

Committee Chair Maria Miller said: “Many fathers want to be just as involved in their children’s lives as mothers do, which is good for children too. However, in many workplaces men can still find it difficult to get more flexible work and fear that asking might damage their career, with employers questioning their commitment. This mirrors the experiences of many mothers.”

She added that there are “significant questions” around how much fathers will feel able to take on Shared Parental Leave and highlighted the need to learn from other countries as to which policies have worked.

“We will consider what fathers want, workplace culture and the barriers men face in combining work with childcare,” she said.