Employers refuse fathers who want to spend more time with their kids

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Only one in five dads who asked were allowed to work from home (Source: Getty)

Businesses need to give new fathers more flexibility to look after their kids as nearly half of those who have asked for their working hours the be changed are refused by their employers, experts have said.

Nearly 40 per cent of dads have asked for their hours to be changed to better fit around their newborns, but 44 per cent said they were not given permission, according to a new study co-authored by Deloitte.

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Meanwhile only one in five of the 14 per cent of millennial dads who asked were allowed to work from home for a day or two every week.

“What is clear from our research is that society is changing fast and if organisations want to retain their best employees, government and business need to drive meaningful change for a new generation of fathers,” said Daddilife founder Han-Son Lee whose firm penned the report.

The study found that over a third of all new fathers said their mental health was being hit by attempts to balance their work with responsibilities to look after their kids, and only 56 per cent think that fathers are treated equally to mothers in the workplace.

Employers’ attitudes are fed by “old-fashioned views of society where mum stays at home and takes on the childcare, and dad works all hours to provide for the family,” Han-Son Lee said.

The study focused on new fathers aged between 24 and 40 across the UK.

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Emma Codd, managing partner for talent at Deloitte, said: “This important research which has highlighted the change still needed in many businesses when it comes to ways of working and support provided to working parents.

“Other striking results to emerge from the research show how existing practices affect mental health; 37 per cent admitting that their mental health is negatively affected as a result of trying to balance work and parental responsibilities. 45 per cent report a negative effect when it comes to being able to switch off, and 61 per cent experiencing feelings of guilt with their partner and 51 per cent guilt with their children at home.”