COMMONS

Are fathers being failed in the workplace?

22 March 2017

The Women and Equalities Committee considers whether fathers are getting the support they need in the workplace to care for their children.

Witnesses

Wednesday 22 March, Room 8, Palace of Westminster

At 9.45am

  • Sarah Jackson, Chief Executive Officer, Working Families
  • Edward Davies, Policy Director, Centre for Social Justice
  • Duncan Fisher, Co-Founder and Director, Family Initiative
  • Dr Tina Miller, Oxford Brookes University

Purpose of the session

In the first evidence session of this inquiry, MPs hear about:

  • Whether there is evidence that fathers—from different groups and backgrounds—have the support to balance work with caring responsibilities for children, and what evidence there is of demand for change;
  • What is known about fathers' current experiences of support for their caring responsibilities in the workplace;
  • What factors and challenges might be contributing to any dissatisfaction among fathers about their current situations;
  • How effectively government policies (particularly its flagship policy of Shared Parental Leave) support fathers in the workplace, what more can be done, and what the effects on workplaces and on mothers would be

Chair's comment

Maria Miller MP, Chair of the Women and Equalities Committee, said:

"Many fathers want to be just as involved in their children's lives as mothers do, which is good for children too. However, in many workplaces men can still find it difficult to get more flexible work and fear that asking might damage their career, with employers questioning their commitment. This mirrors the experiences of many mothers.

The Government has brought in family friendly policies, such as Shared Parental Leave, but there are significant questions about whether culture at work has changed enough to enable the policy to be effective. We need to find out what we can learn from other countries. In this session, we will consider what fathers want, workplace culture and the barriers men face in combining work with childcare.”

Background 

This new inquiry into fathers and the workplace follows research which shows that many fathers find workplaces unsupportive of their responsibilities for their children.

Twice the number of fathers compared to mothers believe that working flexibly will have a negative impact on their career, and 44 per cent said they had lied or bent the truth to their employer about family-related responsibilities.

Further information

Image: iStockphoto

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