Fifth of UK dads faked illness to carry out childcare responsibilities




Andrew Johnson, Managing Director – PowWowNow







man in white shirt carrying boy

New research, *reveals one in five (19%) dads have faked illness at work to manchildcare duties, highlighting a need for workplace culture to shift so men can increase their involvement in parenting.

The research assessed the attitudes towards fathers taking parental leave in the workplace and reveals 20% of dads have changed jobs to better reconcile work and family obligations.

The challenging nature of workplace attitudes towards male parenting roles is evident: nearly half of fathers have been discriminated against for taking care of their children; 12% suffered a job loss after exercising their right to take parental leave or to work flexibly to care for a child, while 10% experienced a demotion. 13% suffered verbal abuse, and another 13% were mocked for their actions.

Just under a third (30%) believe fear of the negative impact on their career prevented them from being as involved in childcare as they wanted.

A lack of flexible working options in the workplace are also cited as a barrier to fathers’ involvement with their children: eight in ten fathers believe flexible working would help them care for their children, and over half (54.3%) find their work schedule prevents them from doing as much childcare as they want to.

Andrew Johnson, MD of PowWowNow, commented on the findings: “As a result of the coronavirus pandemic, the majority of businesses have now put the technologies and processes in place to facilitate remote working, and workforces are accustomed to these practices. There is no longer any excuse for companies not to provide flexible working options going forward to empower fathers to better balance work and family commitments. These need to include flexible hours as well as remote working options.

“With most of the UK workforce currently working at home, parents have been taking on bigger childcare burdens while balancing work. Decision-makers must move to ensure policy supports all working parents— we need parental leave that works for both men and women if we are to tackle gender disparities and create fair and happy societies.”

*Research from PowWowNow,



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