Leading fathers’ charity DadsHouse has told the Women And Equalities Committee that more needs to be done to support fathers in the workplace.
The comment comes after the Committee published a call for evidence last month to seek views on how fathers in the workplace were being supported to care for their children.
The submission from DadsHouse offers a very helpful summary of the issues and includes a case study showing the difficulties fathers are faced with when trying to work and care for their children, either as primary, secondary or lone carers. The submission itself should be available shortly on the Committee’s dedicated page for this consultation, (we will also provide a link as soon as we have one).
The charity makes the following recommendations, which we think are excellent:
- Campaign extolling virtues and importance of fatherhood; We need to find a way to challenge and dismiss societal and attitudinal barriers for Dads to be great employees and fathers. For example, and we are sorry for plugging ourselves here – but using organisations like Dad’s House to combat these issues.
- Employers should be forced to assess how many of their male employees are single fathers with either primary or non primary caring status; And are they happy with their current working arrangements;
- There should be legislation or a policy helping single fathers with either primary or non primary caring status, in asking for and being granted flexible working arrangements;
- Fathers who are sole carers for their children should have some financial assistance to help them get back into employment – because these fathers will more often than not be taking a significant reduction in their salary; and the reason this is important is because some child care agencies will not or will find it very difficult to supply a child minder to a single father; for example we have instances of Agencies that supply Child Minders and/or Au Pairs that have said they would not be able to supply anyone to a single father. Though this is not an issue for a Couple or a Single Mother;
- We understand there is a Minister for Women – but what about a Minister for Fathers. You see we think that perhaps while it has been absolutely the right thing to do to bring equality about for women; at the same time, Fathers (men) have failed to redefine their role in an ever changing society. And therefore the problems we are faced today are because of a lack of action on the male/fathers side to reintroduce who we are today; and interestingly what we want now in the 21st Century.
What do you think of these recommendations?