children playing

Half of fathers want less stressful job to help with childcare

Printer-friendly versionSend by emailPDF version
STV News
Publication Date: 
16 Jan 2017



Nearly half of working fathers would downshift to a less stressful job in order to spend more time with their family, according to a new study.

The Modern Families Index revealed that 47% of dads would move to a less demanding job to better balance work and family life.

The report by charity Working Families and Bright Horizons found 38% of working fathers would take a pay cut if it meant they could make more time to help with childcare.

According to the report, seven out of 10 fathers work flexibly in order to balance work and family demands, but many believe this flexible approach is damaging their career prospects. The same number said they would consider their childcare needs before taking on a new job or a promotion.

The study identified UK workplace culture as a key problem, with fathers saying they work extra hours to deal with their workload and said being seen to work long hours is important in their workplace.

Nearly half (44%) of working dads said they had lied to their employer about family related responsibilities that may disrupt their working day.

The study suggests there is a risk of creating a 'fatherhood penalty' - with more dads compromising their careers by taking on a job below their skill set and reducing their earnings.

Know your rights

Your right to work flexibly

You have the right to ask your employer to work flexibly, but they do not have to agree to it. You must have worked for your employer for at least 26 weeks and you can only make one request to work flexibly a year and this must be in writing.

Time off to look after your child

If your child is under five, you can take up to 18 weeks off to look after them. You must have worked for your employer for at least one year before you can take this leave and it will be unpaid. This leave does not have to be taken all at the same time, but it should be taken in one week blocks. Your employer may limit you to taking no more than four consecutive weeks in any one year.

Paternity leave

You are entitled to one or two weeks' leave when you have a child. You also qualify for paternity leave if you adopt a child. To qualify for paternity leave you must have been with the same employer for at least 26 weeks by the end of the 15th week before the due date. You do not have to take the two weeks in succession, but you must tell your employer when and for how long you want the leave.

-reprinted from STV News