New generation of dads value childcare more than career

18 January 2017

Nearly half of millennial fathers seek a less stressful job in the name of parenting, a study of 2,750 working parents carried out by the work-life balance organisation, Working Families, shows.

Its Modern Families Index 2017 says that the UK risks creating a ‘fatherhood penalty’, “as fathers consider stalling or side-lining their careers to find roles they can better combine with family life”.

The numbers make for interesting reading: reportedly, 47% of millennial (people born between 1980 and 2000) fathers wish to look for a less stressful job due to the demands of work and family life, 48% of them said that they would be willing to take a pay cut for the same cause, and 50% of parents – not just the fathers – said that their work life balance is a source of stress.


Perhaps more alarmingly, the same amount of parents reported that they weren’t comfortable raising the issue of workload and hours with their employers. This last number appears to be supported by the fact that 44% of fathers have “lied or bent the truth” to their employers about family-related responsibilities.

Commenting on this, Sarah Jackson, chief executive of Working Families, says: ““A game-changing first step [to solving the issue of a ‘fatherhood penalty’ would be government creating a new, properly paid, extended period of paternity leave – sending clear signal that government recognises the aspirations of modern fathers and is serious about tackling the motherhood penalty that blights the working lives of so many women.”

Maria Miller MP, chair of the women and equalities select committee adds: “We are now launching a new inquiry into Fathers and the Workplace to look at whether fathers are getting the support they need in the workplace to fulfil their caring responsibilities. We look forward to hearing from Working Families and others as we conduct this inquiry.”

The inquiry is taking written submissions via the website.

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