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DAD.info | Opinion | Latest News | Dads struggle to balance work and family

Dads struggle to balance work and family

Over a third of new dads have called in sick for work to attend family commitments

 

According to new figures from the Modern Family Life index, first-time fathers are struggling to go back to work after having children.

The survey was commissioned by Working Families and involved 1,000 parents.

Chief Executive Sarah Jackson said: “The sands are shifting. Younger parents are more likely to share care than the generations before them. But they’re on shaky ground because working life hasn’t caught up.

“Long and inflexible hours remain the norm with many parents telling us they work up to ten extra hours a week”.

It found that despite young dads wanting to play a bigger part in family life, almost 60 per cent said they didn’t feel that they could ask their boss for flexible working arrangements, even though they might be entitled to them.

Many of the new parents also said they would take a demotion in their current role to a less stressful job just so that they could spend more time at home.

This shift in priorities and desire to take a bigger part in family life has left many with a feeling of resentment towards their workplace.

Ms Jackson added: “If we want children to have the time with parents that they need, and for parents to give their best at work, employers need to tackle unrealistic and unmanageable workloads. Otherwise we’re short-changing families and we’re short-changing the economy.”

The report also found that nearly a third of parents feel burnt out all the time, with three quarters of them saying they needed to make a change to deal with this.

New government guidelines introduced in April last year allow mums and dads to share up to 50 weeks of leave and up to 37 weeks of parental leave pay.

This means that parents can now split up to 50 weeks of leave to look after their child, giving dads more than two weeks to bond with their newborn.

But findings published in January show that only around 2 per cent of dads are taking up the option.

For more information on shared parenting visit: www.gov.uk

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