Fathers in the Workplace Toolkit launched to help organisations better support working fathers


Researchers from the University of Birmingham have launched a “Fathers in the Workplace Toolkit”, to help companies be more inclusive of fathers and support them to balance their work and parenting roles.

The new toolkit is a one-stop shop toolkit which contains a range of practical resources aimed at better supporting fathers at work and giving parents more choices around childcaring in the early years.

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 remain low in comparison to maternity Leave.

“Our research at the Equal Parenting Project has uncovered huge numbers of fathers across the UK who want to spend more time caring in the first year after birth or adoption but face barriers which stop them doing so.” said Dr Holly Birkett from the Equal Parenting Project.

“In response we have designed the Fathers in the Workplace Toolkit to help organisations break down these barriers offering practical advice and tools, all freely available in one place, to better communicate what is available to fathers and families, to help organisations write more inclusive policies and help with developing a culture more supportive of fathers at work.”

Dr Sarah Forbes who is also from the Equal Parenting Project said: “So many fathers want to care in the first year but don’t because of barriers around communication, finances and cultural norms in the workplace and beyond. This toolkit helps organisations break down these barriers and give fathers more choices.”

You can access the Father’s in the Workplace toolkit here.