Working fathers missing out on family life
Rachel Muller-Heyndyk, August 01, 2019
One in five (17%) working fathers feel they miss out on their children growing up because of pressures at work, according to research from Quinyx
Its survey of 2,018 working fathers also found that a further 16% claim their schedule makes it difficult to manage childcare responsibilities.
A lack of flexible working opportunities is having a profound impact on workers’ family lives, the research stated. Almost a fifth (19%) of working dads said they do not get to spend enough time with their families, and a similar number (17%) said their family lives are suffering because of high workloads.
Those that do work flexibly value this highly, the research found. Of those who are currently able to work flexibly, 36% stated they would need to see an increase of more than 30% in their salary to give up this flexibility.
When looking for a new role, working flexibly was found to be twice as important to men as opportunities for training and development, with 17% citing the former compared to 8% the latter.
When asked what they thought would help them secure flexible work, 31% said offering tax breaks to employers that offer greater flexibility, 29% stated there should be legislation to force companies to provide flexible working arrangements, and 29% cited new technology to allow schedules to be viewed, shared and managed.
Quinyx has calculated that by embracing and implementing more flexible working arrangements in the future, UK businesses could generate an output of £570 billion per year through flexible working by 2023.
Erik Fjellborg, CEO and founder of Quinyx, said that a lack of flexible working options is bad for the economy: “In this day and age it’s truly staggering to see so many people struggling to secure flexible working arrangements. The UK cannot continue to view this as an option solely for senior office workers or working mums. It is the future of our economy to make sure all employees are at their most productive – regardless of age, seniority or gender. That means offering them flexibility to enjoy their home life alongside their work.”
Currently new fathers and same-sex couples are given two weeks' statutory parental leave in the UK. The government confirmed on 22 July that working parents will now be protected from redundancy for six months after returning to work, as part of the Good Work Plan.