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More fathers are choosing part-time work, survey reveals

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Fathers are increasingly going part-time because they want to spend more time with their children but are worried about the stigma attached to being a 'part-time working father’, according to a survey published today by recruitment firm Office Angels.

The report, 'Rise of the part-time dads', found that over half of fathers (57%) who work full-time want to reduce their hours to spend more time with their children.

The report surveyed over 1,000 working fathers and found that for those who are opting to work part-time, many are worried about how they will be perceived by society. Nearly three quarters (70%) are concerned that society attaches a stigma to the part-time working father. The report also showed that over half (54%) are worried they are seen as the 'weaker partner' for sacrificing their role as the main breadwinner.

The report revealed the most common reasons for fathers choosing to work part-time are to share in the running of the household, to spend more time with their children and to achieve a better work/life balance.

Angela Smith, operations director, Office Angels said: "It's no longer unusual for the woman to be the highest earning partner in a relationship, and against this backdrop, a new trend has emerged: that of the part-time dads, who take a greater role in the upbringing of their children.

"We found that it is not just financial matters alone that steer these life choices. Work-life balance is increasingly a subject that weighs heavy on dads' minds."

The report also revealed that 27% of fathers surveyed didn't take the two weeks paternity leave they were entitled to. And a quarter of respondents (28%) also said that their employer doesn't offer part-time contracts.

Smith said: "Fathers are not taking advantage of their paternity leave entitlement, which could be for a number of reasons. They may feel that their workload is too heavy, or their colleagues will disapprove, or they might simply not know about their legal rights to request time off."

She added: "With Government changing legislation so fathers can spend more time with their children, by 2015 parents will be allowed to share the 50 week maternity leave entitlement, we should see more dads taking advantage of their paternity leave entitlement."