A third of respondents offer family-friendly policies

A third (67%) of employers offer family-friendly policies to staff, but only one in five working fathers take advantage of these, according to research by BT and the Employers Network for Equality and Inclusion (ENEI).

The research, which surveyed 1,500 working fathers across the UK, also found that 49% of respondents said they do the majority or an equal share of the childcare, but two-thirds (67%) do not think their employers have sufficient family-friendly policies.

The research also found:

  • 49% of respondents want to be able to work flexibly.
  • 25% of respondents want their employer to be more understanding of the demands of fatherhood.
  • 38% of respondents would like support with childcare.

ENEI has also incorporated Employers 4 Fathers (E4F) into its organisation. E4F is a membership body made up of employers concerned with retaining and engaging male workers to help them play an active role in their children’s upbringing.

Denise Keating, chief executive at ENEI, said: “With traditional family roles having changed significantly in recent decades, a healthy workplace culture treats men and woman equally.

“True gender equality will only happen when it is not only socially and culturally acceptable, but actually expected that fathers will play an equal part in the care and upbringing of their children.”

Caroline Waters, director of people and policy at BT and chair of E4F, added: “Clearly, as fathers are now involved in childcare and an essential part of the workforce, it makes sense for employers to do more to understand what they need if they are going to continue to attract and retain great employees.”

Read more on childcare benefits