Dads Choose Part Time Work for Full Time Family, UK Study Finds

Adopting a shorter work week is becoming more common, despite professional stigmas

A recent study in the UK found that the number one reason fathers are opting for part time work is for family, not economics. This is in line with what we’ve been noticing about dads in the U.S. It’s a lifestyle choice. A majority of the dads interviewed for the study (606 of 1072) are seeking part-time positions despite the risks.

Of fathers who do opt to work part-time, nearly three quarters (70 per cent) worry that society attaches a stigma to the part-time working dad, according to the study. Over half were concerned that they were seen as the “weaker partner” because they had sacrificed their role as the main breadwinner. And just over one in ten (13 per cent) worried about negative perceptions amongst colleagues.

Over one quarter of the fathers surveyed did not take their two weeks of paternity leave, as they are entitled to by UK law, reported Sally Peck in The Telegraph.

“With part-dads reporting concerns that society stigmatises dads who work part-time, our report shows UK society still has some way to go,” said Angela Smith, Operations Director, Office Angels, the recruitment consultancy that commissioned the report. “The UK needs to demonstrate that it accepts and supports a more flexible, dynamic workplace where men and women share both work and child care duties,” said Ms Smith.

“Dads are not taking advantage of their paternity leave entitlement, which could be for a number of reasons. They may feel that their workload is too heavy, or their colleagues will disapprove, or they might simply not know about their legal rights to request time off. With government changing legislation so fathers can spend more time with their children – by 2015 parents will be allowed to share the 50 week maternity leave entitlement – we should see more dads taking advantage of their paternity leave entitlement”.

Cheers to the UK!

Thanks to Dad Info for bringing this to our attention.

—Office worker image from Shutterstock

About Robert Duffer

Robert Duffer ( is the editor of the Dads & Families section of The Good Men Project. Winner of the Chicago Public Library's writing contest, his work appears in the Chicago Tribune, MAKE Magazine, Chicago Reader, Curbside Splendor, Time Out Chicago, Chicago Public Radio, Annalemma, New City, and other coffee-table favorites like Canadian Builders Quarterly. He teaches creative writing at Columbia College Chicago and lives in the suburbs with his wife, two kids, and their minivan. Follow @DufferRobert, Google+, facebook.


  1. Clem Burke says:

    Yep, us gay mewn abuse straight women there are stats on that,,,uh I think, is there?

  2. Robert- Nice piece, and this is encouraging news. This is totally consistent with what I’ve been finding in my professional and academic work in this area. Boston College recently did a big study on w-f issues for dads that is blowing my mind right now.

  3. So lazy men are seeking part time work-big deal, they never worked for their family anyways they worked for themselves!

    Men already study less, under perform and now you all want to encourage them out of the workforce-seriously what is your problem with high achieving men-you jealous???
    seems like it cause for you all the holiest of the holy is the stay at home dad-Lol

    • John Smith says:

      What on earth are you trying to say? Whatever it is I suspect you may be in the wrong place.

      • Akash Charles says:

        what I am saying is this website holds the SAHD as the highest of the highest

        what is wrong with a man who wants to provide for his family and has career goals as well?

        there is more to being a good man than looking after your children

        the goal here seems to be to create an exact opposite of the 1950’s-you do realise the 60’s happened because of the 50’s culture-the same thing will happen to the children of these SAHD’S

        My point is in media men are constantly put down for being successful-they do worse in school -etc, surely a well educated man is a good man as well?

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