‘Dads moving jobs to find flexible working’



A third of dads have changed jobs since becoming a father, with 39% of these dads pinpointing “flexibility to fulfil parental responsibilities” as a reason, according to a new wide-ranging survey of dads.

The Millennial Dad at Work survey of over 2,000 dads aged 24 to 40 was conducted by DaddiLife in association with Deloitte. It found younger fathers were particularly likely to change jobs after becoming fathers, with 41% of those aged 24 – 29 having done so since becoming a father. A third of dads were actively looking for a new job, with a desire for more flexible working being a key reason. The number of dads actively looking for a new job jumps to 40% for dads who are fully involved in day-to-day parenting.

Some 63% had requested some form of flexible working since becoming a dad, from homeworking to a change in working hours.  Only just over half [56%] of those who have requested a change in working hours were successful, but dads had less success with request for other forms of flexible working. For instance, only one in five were granted working from home for one to two days a week. The survey shows higher success rates for changing working hours in sectors such as retail and construction [73%], compared to accounting [15%].

The survey shows 87% of dads say they are either mostly or fully involved in day-to-day parenting duties – this is a combined figure with 58% saying they are fully involved. Sixty eight per cent of those who work full time and say they are fully involved also have a partner who is working full time. Interestingly, dads who earned more than £80K were more likely to say they were fully involved in parenting.

The majority – 67% – believe that their workplaces as a whole recognise the role of more active fathers, but only just over half believe that fathers are treated equally to mothers, with flexible working being a case in point.  The survey suggests a flexibility gap is emerging between higher income fathers and the rest, with fathers who earn more than £70,000 being granted significantly more flexible working on the whole than those who earn less than that.

Fathers say they regularly experience tension over work life balance, with 45% say they sometimes or often experience this. Some 37% of dads also report regular tension with colleagues and 45% report regular tension with partners over work life balance issues. Leaving ‘on time’ is the biggest single cause of tension, with a third of dads regularly experiencing tension over this.

Many dads said they felt guilty about not giving enough at work or at home – 44% said they sometimes experience guilt with their line manager. This compares to 45% who experience it with colleagues, 61% who experience it with partners and 51% who experience it in relation to their children.

The results is mental health problems with 37% saying their mental health is negatively affected as a result of trying to balance work and parental responsibilities.

The survey shows the role of line managers and HR are key to tackling this issue and driving genuine equality at work.

Some 62% of all the fathers surveyed believe that more training is needed for line managers around dads in the workplace specifically. Some 59% also want more flexible working and 48% say improving paternity leave is vital.

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