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