Many Fathers Would Put Family Before Salary

Many Fathers Would Put Family Before Salary

Survey suggests many fathers would put family before salary

Research by charity Working Families has revealed that almost half of working fathers (47% of respondents to their survey) would like to have a less stressful job so they can devote more time to their family.

Around a third of respondents (38%) went as far as saying they would be prepared to take a pay cut if this would improve their work-life balance.

These figures increased to 53% and 48% respectively amongst fathers from the millennial generation, i.e. those born since the start of the 1980s.

Around one in five of the fathers surveyed said they were regularly required to work evening or weekend overtime, in spite of their family responsibilities. A similar proportion said that their employer was unsympathetic on this issue, and expected that there would be no disruption whatsoever to their work as a result of childcare needs.

Working Families says it is now worried that a phenomenon known as the ‘fatherhood penalty’ will emerge in the UK, similar to the current ‘motherhood penalty’. Essentially this concerns working parents who accept jobs that are below their skill set, and suffer reduced household incomes as a result.

The charity surveyed 2,750 parents of children aged 13 and under whose children live with them either some or all of the time.

Sarah Jackson, Chief Executive of Working Families, said:

“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.”

A working father, like every other employee in the UK with six months’ continuous service with the same company, has the right to request flexible working arrangements. A flexible arrangement might include working from home, working flexible hours (e.g. working hours arranged around school pick-ups and drop-offs) or job sharing. A company must have a genuine business reason for refusing a request to work flexibly. 

Working fathers can also take shared parental leave. A mother cannot legally work during the first two weeks after a birth, but after this she can take a further 50 weeks as maternity leave, or alternatively some or all of the 50-week allowance can be transferred to the father.

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