Employers should support dads to achieve a better work-life balance

Mon 16th Jan 2017

According to news reports, employers are not doing enough to help dads play a more active role in bringing up their children. Philip Sayers at Coodes Solicitors says that employers should support dads to achieve a better work-life balance.

“The research behind these headlines, conducted by Working Families, suggests that fathers are finding the work life balance increasingly stressful. Worryingly, many reported that their employers were unsupportive of their requests to make changes to allow them to spend more time with their families.

“We now have in place legal structures to enable employees to make flexible working requests to better fit their job around other aspects of their lives. Flexible working requests are frequently used by parents. Employees also have the right to take unpaid time off to deal with family emergencies. Again, this is often used by parents who need to care for sick children, for example. Shared parental leave was introduced in December 2014. This enables parents to share what was once maternity leave entitlement.

“Despite these legal changes, it seems that fathers are sometimes treated less sympathetically than mothers making similar requests. From a legal perspective, this could amount to sex discrimination. Employers might want to look at the way they handle these sort of requests to make sure that all are treated consistently and fairly. It is important to remember that the issue may not be just what HR Managers and Business owners do at the higher level. It is also important to educate middle managers to ensure that they are aware of employment rights. While having these in place in policies and procedures, it is important to make sure that rights are not thwarted by others in the organisation. It is often the lack of co-operation here and the comments made at this level that can be causing the problem.

“This research highlights the need for businesses to catch up with changes to the law, which promote more equality between working parents.”

For more information on this or any Employment enquiries contact Philip Sayers on 0800 328 3282 or info@coodes.co.uk

Mon 16th Jan 2017

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