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Fathers denied flexible working

While 40% of dads have requested flexible working, 44% of these requests were unsuccessful, according to research from DaddiLife and Deloitte?

The report, which surveyed more than 2,000 working fathers aged between 24 and 40, found that more than half of fathers (58%) involved in day-to-day parenting would like more flexibility at work, and 63% of new dads have requested a change in working pattern since becoming a father.

However, while 14% of Millennial dads had requested to work from home between one and two days a week, only 19% of those had been granted this.

When asked about attitudes towards working fathers, only 56% believed fathers were treated equally to mothers. Forty-five per cent of working fathers reported regularly experiencing tension from their employer when trying to balance work and family life, and 39% said they regularly experienced tension from colleagues.

These pressures have a negative impact on working fathers, the research found, with 37% admitting their mental health had been negatively affected and 61% saying they felt guilty about how this might affect their partner.

Han-Son Lee, founder of parenting website for fathers DaddiLife, called on employers to tackle outdated attitudes towards fathers.

“Fathers are more involved in day-to-day parenting than ever yet many employers cling onto old-fashioned views of society where mum stays at home and takes on the childcare and dad works all hours to provide for the family,” he said.

“We know firsthand from listening to working dads in the DaddiLife community that there is a gap in provision for new working fathers who need support to help them navigate the world of paternity leave, flexible working, and dealing with employers that refuse to listen."

Policymakers must also play a role, he added: “What is clear from our research is that society is changing fast and if organisations want to retain their best employees, government and business need to drive meaningful change for a new generation of fathers. We’ve built our new campaign hub to speed up that change by shining a light on those who are doing it well, and providing the advice that dads desperately need.”

The research was published to coincide with DaddiLife launching a campaign andonline hub to raise awareness of the issues facing working fathers and to help them understand their rights. The campaign calls on the government to enhance paternity pay and for employers to improve policy around flexible working.