COMMONS

Dads not taking up workplace support, but Government fails to act

14 June 2018

The Women and Equalities Committee publishes Government response to report on Fathers and the workplace. The Government has said it wants a public debate about funding workplace support for dads, in response to the report. However, it rejects most of the recommendations which were designed to modernise workplace policies for 21st century families.

Government rejects Committee recommendations

In March, the Committee published its report, Fathers and the workplace, which called for new measures on paternity leave and pay, shared paternal leave, the right to flexible working, workplace rights and driving cultural change.
 
In its response, the Government accepts the need for change but rejects many of the recommendations made without alternative solutions in response to the evidence that the Committee heard during its inquiry – thus also failing to address the gender pay gap.

We will continue to press for reform

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

“The Government has previously voiced good intentions when it comes to family friendly policies but the response to our report is a missed opportunity.

Dads are calling for change and the Gender Pay Gap will not be tackled until dads get the support they need to support their children too.
 
Our inquiry heard from a range of well-informed voices including employers, unions and fathers themselves.

Many cited the poor take up of key initiatives such as Shared Parental Leave as sign they are not working.

It is regrettable that more of this evidence base has not been acted upon. 
 
It is also surprising that the Government’s response does not refer to its own recently published research on the gender pay gap which found that if men and women took similar amounts of unpaid family leave the gender pay gap would decrease by 13%. 
 
Despite this, there is some encouragement that ministers recognise the need for a debate about the costs and benefits of modernising workplace support for fathers and families.

We will continue to press for reform.” 

Further information

Image: iStockphoto

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