17% lost their jobs after taking time off to take care of their child.
According to a new research commissioned by SME conference call provider PowWowNow, 44% of fathers have been discriminated in the workplace after exercising their right to take time off to look after their child.
The research was carried out to measure the impact and uptake of Shared Parental Leave (SPL) on fathers in the workplace in the UK.
Introduced in 2015, SPL was launched to allow parents to share up to 50 weeks of leave and 37 weeks of statutory pay between them following the birth of a child and is designed to allow couples to split child-caring roles more equally.
The research reveals that a staggering 1 in 4 fathers suffered verbal abuse or mockery following their paternity leave.
Over a third (35%) of new dads suffered a negative impact on their career after their time off. Of these, 17% suffered job loss, while nearly 20% received a demotion.
With just one in 10 fathers having taken SPL since its introduction four years ago, the research shows that men are actively discouraged from taking on child-caring responsibilities.
While the UK leads on statutory leave parental leave rights, many challenge to what degree are the policies advancing the father’s involvement in the family, given the fact that paternally leave is often frowned-upon or even stigmatized in many workplaces.
The numbers say it all.
Over half (55 per cent) of employers believe that workers at their organisation feel taking SPL would limit their career.
“It’s high time workplace culture evolved to ensure fathers are confident their rights as parents will be respected,” says Jason Downes, MD of PowWowNow.
“Employers must implement family-friendly policies and better encourage the uptake of flexible working practices that allow men to help raise children and better fit work around family life. By making flexible working a part of the workplace, we can make office culture more friendly to new parents.
90 countries worldwide don’t offer paternity leave time at all – including the US.
Out of the 169 countries researched, the UK ranks 13th on the list of best countries for paternity leave offering working dads two working weeks (10 days) with their new-born child. As soon as the two weeks are over, fathers are sent straight back to work.
Source: The Global Recruiter