Dads have to fake illness to manage childcare duties

Almost a fifth of workings dads have to fake an illness in order to manage childcare duties.

PowWowNow, a meeting provider found that 19 per cent of dads had to make up an illness to their employer in order to find time for their child. Also, 20 per cent of dads have changed jobs in order to achieve a better work and family balance.

Research also found that 12 per cent of dads suffered a job loss after exercising their right to take parental leave or to work flexibly to care for a child, while 10 per cent experienced a demotion. As well as 13 per cent suffering from verbal abuse, and another 13 per cent being mocked for their actions.

Under a third (30 per cent) believe the negative impact of their career prevented them from being as involved in their children’s lives.

Eight in ten dads think flexible working would give them more time to look after their children and over half (54 per cent) hold the opinion that their work schedule prevents them from doing as much childcare as possible.

Andrew Johnson, managing director of PowWowNow, said:

As a result of the coronavirus pandemic, the majority of businesses have now put the technologies and processes in place to facilitate remote working, and workforces are accustomed to these practices. There is no longer any excuse for companies not to provide flexible working options going forward to empower fathers to better balance work and family commitments. These need to include flexible hours as well as remote working options.

With most of the UK workforce currently working at home, parents have been taking on bigger childcare burdens while balancing work. Decision-makers must move to ensure policy supports all working parents— we need parental leave that works for both men and women if we are to tackle gender disparities and create fair and happy societies.

On 22/04/20, PowWowNow found that 40 per cent of working dads are not in a position to take up Shared Parental Leave (SPL). Also that fathers still feel there is a lack of support from their employers for men taking parental leave. Just under a third, (30 per cent) of fathers have seen a mother had their parental leave added to, financially, whilst theirs was not. Most mothers will get an enhanced maternity package from their employer, and statutory maternity pays for up to 39 weeks.