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Not All Dads Can Quit Work

15:37 Mon 24th May 2010 |

Thanks to a combination of increased government intervention, growing levels of sympathy among employers and the rise of technology enabling employees to work remotely, a significant proportion of women are now able to successfully juggle a career and a young family.

However, when it comes to benefiting from flexible working practices, it seems that fathers across the UK are still missing out, with attitudes and workplace rules and regulations several years behind the times.

Of course, in an ideal world, all parents would be able to give up their jobs and concentrate on their children, should they wish.

The typical UK father is still having a tough time of it, with the Equality and Human Rights Commission reporting that a majority are struggling to achieve the work-life balance they want as they are reluctant to request flexible job opportunities.

Commenting on the government department's report the director of communications at the Family and Parenting Institute, said: "Parents have told us that they are worried about asking for flexible working because they feel that if they do it will mark them out as being somehow less committed."

"All we are saying is that they should be able to have more flexible working arrangements so they can spend more time with their kids. Also, there should be better paternity leave and that needs to be reserved for fathers and paid at the minimum wage," she added.

However, for now at least, it would appear that only the seriously wealthy dads can take time away from work to be with their young families, with working parents forced to choose between who stays at home and who brings in the money.

Some employers have their own paternity leave arrangements which are more generous than the statutory entitlement. These will normally be included in your employment contract. You can always choose the Statutory Paternity Leave arrangement if this suits you better.

If you would like to know more about flexible working why not ask AnswerBank Jobs and Education.

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