More than half (56%) of fathers believe they are treated equally to mothers at their organisations, according to research by online community lifestyle platform Daddilife and professional services firm Deloitte.
Its The millennial dad at work report, which questioned 2,002 UK fathers aged between 24 and 40 in March and April 2019, also found that 63% of those surveyed have requested a change in their working pattern since becoming a dad. Around two-fifths (40%), for example, have wanted to amend their working hours, but 44% of these respondents have been unsuccessful in achieving this. A further 14% have asked to work from home one or two days a week; only 19% have had these requests granted.
Around half (48%) of new fathers think that improving paternity leave is a vital change employers need to implement, while 59% say that more flexible working opportunities are needed. In addition, 62% feel that more training is needed for line managers around dads in the workplace specifically.
Han-Son Lee, founder at Daddilife, said: “Fathers are more involved in day-to-day parenting than ever before, yet many employers cling on to old fashioned views of society where mum stays at home and takes on the childcare and dad works all hours to provide for the family.
“We know first-hand from listening to working dads in the Daddilife community that there is a real gap in provision for new working fathers who need support to help them navigate the world of paternity leave, flexible working and dealing with employers [that] refuse to listen.
“What is clear from our research is that society is changing fast and if organisations want to retain [its] best employees, government and [businesses] need to drive meaningful change for a new generation of fathers.”
Approximately 45% of respondents regularly experience tension from their employer when trying to balance their work and family life and 39% often see this tension arise from colleagues. More than half (58%) state they are actively involved in the day-to-day care of their child and are therefore looking for workplace flexibility, however 37% also admit that their mental health has been negatively affected as a result of trying to balance work and parental responsibilities.
More than two-fifths (45%) of working fathers report a negative effect when it comes to being able to switch off.
Emma Codd (pictured), managing partner for talent at Deloitte, added: “We are delighted to be able to support this important research, which has highlighted the change still needed in many businesses when it comes to ways of working and support provided to working parents.
“Agile working has long been a key priority and focus for Deloitte, enabling everyone to balance their commitments outside work with a successful career is critical to our ability to attract and retain the best people; these findings serve to show why this focus is so important.”