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Latest News
09 Apr 2018

Report says all new jobs should be advertised as flexible

Working dads are currently being failed by workplace policies on flexible working and parental leave, according to Fathers in the Workplace, a new report from the House of Commons Women and Equalities Committee.

Members of the committee urged the UK government to reform workplace policies to ensure they meet the needs of 21st century families and to better support working dads in caring for their children.

The report concludes that the right to request flexible working has not created the necessary cultural change, while the government itself admitted to the inquiry that its flagship shared parental leave scheme will not meet its objective for most fathers.

Amongst the recommendations, MPs said that all new jobs should be advertised as flexible, unless there are solid business reasons not to.

The committee recommended that statutory paternity pay should be paid at 90% of the father´s pay (capped for higher earners) to help ensure that all fathers, regardless of income, can be at home around the time of their child´s birth.

It also said that the government should consider the costs and benefits of introducing a new policy of 12 weeks´ standalone fathers´ leave in the child´s first year as an alternative to shared parental leave when it reviews the policy this year.

And it called on the government to harmonise workplace rights for fathers who are agency workers or self-employed with those for employed fathers, where practical — for example by introducing paternity allowance similar to maternity allowance.

Committee member Gavin Shuker MP said: “Fathers´ attitudes to caring for their children are changing. They are carrying out a greater proportion of childcare than ever before, but are still doing less than half the childcare that mothers do.

“We were concerned to hear that men simply don´t feel able to ask their employers for leave or flexible working due to a macho culture or for fear it will harm their career prospects.

“We need to tackle these attitudes.

“Family-friendly government policies are unlikely to be effective without a cultural shift.

“It is very important — and only fair — that fathers of all incomes have an equal chance to bond with their children in the same way as mothers.”

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