Dads need more flexibility at work and’s annual survey shows dads are facing many of the same pressures over work life balance as mums.



Men are increasingly facing the same work life pressures as women when they become parents, with many feeling frustrated in their jobs and discriminated against at work and some are willing to walk out of employment to get a better balance, according to the annual survey by and

Around half of working dads said their career had stalled since they became a father. Almost 70% admitted they feel stuck in their current role because they fear they wouldn’t be able to find another job with the amount of flexibility they need.

The survey of nearly 3,000 parents found two in five who applied for a flexible working arrangement were turned down and a quarter felt their line manager did not understand the pressures of juggling work with family life. One in 10 said they’d quit their job after having a flexible working request turned down. One in five of those with a flexible working arrangement felt discriminated against by managers and co-workers.

It also showed that 46% of respondents work full time and a further 36% said they work full time with some flexibility built in. Only 4% said they worked part time. This compares with 43% of mums working part time.

However men want more flex. Around half said they don’t have enough flexibility in their current role. 42% of dads cited more flexibility in their workplace as the single thing that would boost their career development.

One in four dads said they’d had time off work due to mental illness, with a third of those citing the stress of work and home. Nine out of 10 dads said a four-day week would help them balance work and family life better – around the same as mums.

However, the survey showed there are still variations in the sexes experience at work: 60% of mums felt their careers had not progressed since becoming a parent and 80% felt ‘stuck’ because they were unsure they’d be able to work as flexibly elsewhere, compared to 69% of dads. Moreover,  while one in 10 men said they’d changed job because an employer had refused flexible working for women the figure was much higher at 45%.

The survey also showed low take-up of Shared Parental Leave, with just 9% of dads taking it.

Other findings include:

  • 29% of dads have researched potential employers’ flexible working policy and practice before applying for their job
  • 34% have done so before accepting a job
  • 27% asked about flexible working at interview
  • 18% would not have taken a job if there was no flexibility

James Millar, editor of and co-author of the book Dads Don’t Babysit, said: “These results show thousands of dads are suffering and frustrated at work. Yet the answer seems very simple. If more employers embrace flexible working it would improve the lives of all parents by giving the option to find the right balance between work and life.”


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