Campaign Launches to Remind Dads of Our Rights at Work

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Flexible working is increasingly important to today’s fathers who want to be more involved in taking care of their children, according to information published today by the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills.

More than nine out of ten dads with children aged five or under believe it is important that fathers have the option to take paid paternity leave. And nearly two thirds believe that a dad’s relationship with their baby will suffer if they are not at home after the birth.

But it is not just fathers with young children who want to be involved. Read More »

Fathers to be entitled to six month’s paternity leave

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New rights for fathers to take up to six months’ paternity leave, three of which will be paid at the same rate as statutory maternity leave, are due to be announced by the Government.

Coming into force from April 2011, the time off can be taken during the second half of a baby’s first year if the mother returns to the workplace. At the moment, mothers can take nine months paid maternity leave, and a further three months unpaid. The new scheme will mean that if mothers return to work after six months, fathers can take the following six months as paternity leave, half of which will be paid.

Gordon Brown said the plan was about “giving couples more freedom, dads more rights and children more time with the two people who love them most”.

Since April 2003, fathers have been entitled to take two weeks’ paid leave, but the Government has conceded that take-up is likely to be low, with less than one in 16 fathers expected to leave work for a period of full-time childcare.

Ministers tried to reassure small businesses that the impact will be minimal, with less than 1% expected to be affected by the changes. But the British Chambers of Commerce (BCC) were reported by the Daily Telegraph to have expressed concern about the costs to business during the economic downturn.

Why Don’t More Dads Work Part-Time

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There has been quite a lot of media coverage as a result of yesterday’s report by the EHRC, including this interesting article in the Guardian.

Quite why names have been changed to protect the unreconstructed father Tom (”‘I’m a man, therefore I don’t do childcare … That’s what my wife does.”) I can’t quite imagine.

Fathers fear flexible working damages careers

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Paternity LeaveMany British fathers are working long hours, struggling to balance work and family life and fear that requesting flexible working will damage their careers, according to a new report from the Equality and Human Rights Commission.

Although fathers want to take a more active role in caring for their children, four in 10 say they spend too little time with their children.

Forty-five per cent of dads fail to take two weeks’ paternity leave after the birth of their child; the the most common reason is that they can’t afford to. Two in five men fear that asking for flexible working arrangements would result in their commitment to their job being questioned and would negatively affect their chances of a promotion.

The report also points to an opportunity for employers to gain a competitive advantage in recruitment, as two in three fathers consider the availability of flexible working to be important when looking for a new job. Read More »

Working Families Manifesto

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An organisation called Working Families has put together a manifesto to promote flexible working practices in the workplace.

Their theme is that flexible working is better for families - and better for business - and argues that now we have legislation to support it we should be moving more quickly towards a more modern and better balanced way of working.

Achieving work/life balance in the recession

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Flexible working is a huge motivator for parents. Photograph: Christa Renee

Photograph at http://www.guardian.co.uk

Interesting article in the Guardian on Saturday 14 February by Julia Hobsbawm arguing that traditional nine-to-five working practices won’t dig us out of this deep recession. She says it is time to embrace a new ‘-ism’ that she coins ‘flexibilism’ in the workplace.

“Britain remains a laggard in the league table of productivity,” she writes. “Corporate Britain has known for nearly a decade about the benefits of flexible working. Five years ago the Work Foundation published a study, Productivity, Performance & People, which concluded that a motivated workforce working flexibly to suit employee and employer alike would deliver more for Britain’s businesses than a century of old-style, rigid hours.”

She has a book out, The See-Saw: 100 Ideas for Work Life Balance, Atlantic Books, £6.99.

You can read more.

No father forward

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Interesting article in today’s Guardian (Saturday 17th January 2009) about the fear that taking paternity leave may lead to unemployment.

While all men are entitled to paternity leave, taking it can often damage their careers. Elin Darby fears her partner could lose his job after taking time out to care for their baby.

http://www.guardian.co.uk/money/2009/jan/17/paternity-rights

Plans to extend flexible working rights “to be reconsidered”

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Plans to increase parents’ rights to ask for flexible working hours are to be “reconsidered,” according to a Government spokesperson.

Plans to extend paid maternity and paternity leave are also under threat as the new Business Secretary Lord Mandelson is reconsidering all new regulations in the light of the economic downturn.

The flexible working scheme was due to be extended to 4.5m parents of children up to the age of 16 from next April.

At the moment the right to ask for flexible working is limited to parents whose children are under six or disabled.

The extension was announced earlier this year following the recommendations of an independent review.

Help parents to stay at home, says report

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This is the press release from the Early Years Commission released on September 8th 2008

Too many parents who wish to nurture their children at home
for the first few years are being forced back to work by
financial pressures when their children are babies, according to
a report published today by a think-tank chaired by the former
Conservative leader Iain Duncan Smith.

Read More »

The truth about daddy day care

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Men will soon be given the right to ask for more leave to look after their children. About time too, says Virginia Ironside

http://www.independent.co.uk/news/uk/this-britain/the-truth-about-daddy-day-care-875705.html