90% of dads with young children believe it is important for fathers have the option to take paid paternity leave.
The Government has launched a campaign to remind dads of their rights at work as many fathers are not aware of what is available to them.
Flexible working is very important to dads who want to share the care of their children. According to research published today by the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills (BIS) more than half (56%) of dads surveyed with children 16 and under said that they would look for an employer who offers flexible working when choosing a new job.
The overwhelming majority (91%) of dads with children aged five or under believe it is important that fathers have the option to take paid paternity leave. Nearly two thirds (62%) believe a dad’s relationship with their child will suffer if they are not at home after the baby is born.
BIS has launched a campaign to remind dads of their rights at work as, although there has been a change in parenting, many fathers are not aware of what is available to them:
· Request flexible working – parents of a child, 16 or under, are entitled to request flexible working, such as flexi time, part time or working from home, and, by law, an employer must seriously consider the request;
· Paid paternity leave – new dads can take two weeks’ paid leave. They need to notify their employer 15 weeks before the due date; and
· Parental leave – dads have the right to take up to 13 weeks unpaid leave until their child is five years old.
The campaign to promote what is available to dads is a valuable first step, as it is clear that dads don’t know all that is available to them. Sadly, knowing what is available is sometimes not enough. Ian is a separated parent, he asked his employer for flexible working as he needed to pick his son up from school. This was refused to him but the female employees who worked in this company were able to work flexibly. Employers need to be more responsive to fathers’ needs and policy needs to go further to ensure that either parent has the flexibility that is so crucial for any type of family.
Becky Jarvis, Policy Officer said “no matter how young or old the child is it is best for them to have two equally involved parents sharing the care of their children, and supporting working fathers is crucial to this.”
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