Although Father’s Day has come and gone for 2019, the celebrations don’t stop there.
At Bright Horizons we’re always rooting for working dads and it’s great to see the Government joining in too – launching a consultation last week and taking the first step towards equalising roles of men and women at home and at work.
And the news can’t come soon enough. This year, our Modern Families Index told us that mothers are still shouldering the majority of childcare responsibilities and are the first port of call for school and childcare if there is a problem. Further still, 50% of fathers dip into work after they have gone home, less than half work flexible, and both mothers and fathers think it is more acceptable for mothers to take time out of work for childcare and eldercare related issues.
Giving families greater choice over who cares is not only the right thing to do, but the smart thing to do. Supportive workplace cultures which enable families to share care in a way which works for them means people are less likely to feel resentful toward their employers, less likely to consider downshifting, less likely to say that work life is becoming increasingly stressful and less likely to have an unhealthy lifestyle due to work – it’s a no-brainer.
The consultation will look in detail at three main areas: Parental leave and pay; neonatal leave and pay; and the transparency of flexible working and family related leave and pay policies. Specifically, the consultation will explore: reforming existing entitlements for parents to help balance the gender division, supporting families requiring additional neonatal care following the birth of a child, and finally whether employers should have a duty to consider if a job can be done flexibly and make that clear when advertising a role.
Thank you, Theresa May, for your leadership and for prioritising this important issue as one of your final acts as Prime Minister.
To find out more about the consultation, please visit: https://www.gov.uk/government/consultations/good-work-plan-proposals-to-support-families