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March 05, 2020 Thursday 11:48:23 AM IST

Fathers in the Workplace Toolkit to help working fathers

Parent Interventions

Researchers from the University of Birmingham have launched a "Fathers in the Workplace Toolkit", to help organisations be more inclusive of fathers and support them to balance their work and parenting roles. The innovative toolkit has been created by the Equal Parenting Project team led by Dr. Holly Birkett and Dr. Sarah Forbes.  It is a one-stop-shop toolkit which contains a range of practical resources to better support fathers at work and gives parents more choices around childcaring in the early years including:

- How to set up an inclusive parenting group which encourages fathers to be more involved

- Guidance on how to effectively implement a returners programme for fathers who have taken longer periods of leave

- Information on developing an organisational ‘parenting passport’, a document which records important information about a parent’s caring responsibilities and support needs, helping to create an understanding between the parent employee and their organisation so they don’t have to keep repeating these as they move around the organistion

The toolkit was created by the Equal Parenting Project based on extensive research which found that fathers very often want to take more time to care for their children, indeed research by the Equality and Human Rights Commission revealed that over half of fathers with a child under one feel they spend too little time with their children. Furthermore, research by Working Families demonstrates that the majority of younger fathers (68%) say they would consider their childcare needs before taking a new job or promotion. Despite these changing attitudes, fathers do not always feel able to make use of the policies available to them.

According to the Equal Parenting Project, the key barriers fathers face include cultural norms around maternal caring, financial disincentives, lack of understanding of the policy including poor and its benefits and concerns about career development as a result of taking leave. These findings help explain why the take-up of new policies to encourage shared leave despite year on year growth remains low in comparison to maternity Leave.

The Fathers in the Work Place toolkit is available online: https://more.bham.ac.uk/fathersintheworkplace/

(Content and Image Courtesy: https://www.birmingham.ac.uk/news/latest/2020/03/fathers-in-the-workplace-toolkit-is-launched-to-support-working-fathers.aspx)