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More dads are choosing part-time work finds Office Angels report

More dads are choosing part-time work finds Office Angels report

Dads are increasingly going part-time because they want to spend more time with their children, not because they can’t find full time work, according to & lsquo;Rise of the part-time dads’, a new report from Office Angels.

The report found that over half (57%) of fathers who work full-time want to reduce their hours to spend more time with their children.  Full-time dads are still working long hours. Three-quarters (74%) are working 35-40 hour weeks and one in five (19%) is putting in 40 hours or more.

The most common reasons for dads choosing to work part-time are:

To share in the running of the household and family (32%)

To spend more time with their children (31%)

To achieve a better work/life balance (31%).

Just a quarter (26%) cited it was because they couldn’t find full-time work.

Stigma of being a part-time working dad

For those dads who are opting to work part-time, the report found many men are worried about how part-time dads are perceived by society. 

Nearly three quarters (70%) are concerned that society attaches a stigma to the part-time working dad. Over half (54%) worried that they were seen as the & lsquo;weaker partner’ for sacrificing their role as the main breadwinner. One in ten (13%) worried about negative perceptions amongst colleagues.

Angela Smith, Operations Director, Office Angels said: “Office Angels conducted the research against a backdrop of changing legislation to allow parents to share their 50 week maternity leave entitlement by 2015, the recession and its impact on men, and evolving attitudes towards gender equality. It’s no longer unusual for the woman to be the highest earning partner in a relationship, and against this backdrop, a new trend has emerged: that of the part-time dads, who take a greater role in the upbringing of their children. We found that it is not just financial matters alone that steer these life choices. Work-life balance is increasingly a subject that weighs heavy on dads’ minds”.

Paternity leave
A quarter of dads (27%) surveyed by Office Angels didn’t take the two weeks paternity leave they were entitled to.  A quarter of respondents (28%) also said that their employer doesn’t offer flexitime or part-time contracts.

Angela Smith, Operations Director, Office Angels added: “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”.

Impact on relationships and finances

The adoption of part-time work does appear to be helping dads with their relationships. For over a third of part-time working dads (37%), the relationship with his child/children is better than if he were working full time.

Angela Smith, Operations Director, Office Angels concludes:  “With part-dads reporting concerns that society stigmatises dads who work part-time, our report shows UK society still has some way to go. 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”.

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