Wednesday, 21 October 2009

Quick hit: Work-life balance a problem for dads too

Found on the Herald's site:
A report published in the UK today suggests that more men are giving up the battle for a better work-life balance. Almost half of fathers there fail to take up their right to two weeks' paternity leave.

Research published by the Equality and Human Rights Commission also reveals that two out of five men are afraid to ask for flexible working arrangements because they think it would harm their career prospects.

They fear their commitment to their job would be questioned and it would negatively affect their chance of promotion.

"While there have been huge changes in women's participation in employment over the last 30 years, men's contribution to childcare has not increased at the same rate," say the authors of the report.
Click through for the whole thing.

It seems to me that until we give fathers access to many of the supportive provisions mothers can get then we'll continue to struggle to come to an equitable share of the child-rearing work. In my own situation if my partner wasn't keen to stay home then on days like today, when our son is sick, I guess it would be most often me who had to take the day off from my paid job.


spikybombshell said...

My father works in the Police. He was telling me the other day a work collegue of his requested maternity leave so as to help out his partner whilst she is sitting her exams at university. His request was denied as "she is not working".

My Dad was particularly upset about this. Why can't men take maternity leave if their partner is not "working"? It's interesting what the government defines as "work"

katy said...

Spikybombshell, I don't think the circumstances of the mother are relevant in terms of dads taking parental leave. But this usually just applies to the leave taken at the time of the "confinement" (birth). Was your dad's colleague talking about domestic leave?

Anyway, I agree that improving provisions for Dads is important. However, I don't know that the situation for most mums is that "supportive" yet!

David said...

My workplace is overly parent friendly, Im the only non parent out of 5 people in my office. Ive had to change my pre arrainged plans a number of times because one of my workmates has had a sick child, school activity, kindy lunch etc, etc, etc. While I dont mind too much changing plans if it is convienent to me its the lack of "THANK YOU for changing your plans to hep me out" that is starting to grate.

katy said...

David, what do your colleagues say when you mention this?

david said...

Last week I had to change my appointment time for a MRI scan to fit in around a co worker, she "had to go" to a shared lunch. I think she just expected that I would change and there was no "thank you" for doing so.