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Flexible working should be considered “a normal way to work”

New research on the work and family lives of fathers has recently been released. Entitled 'Working for fathers', the research, which was funded by The Big Lottery and undertaken by Working Families and Lancaster University Management School, involved over a thousand fathers in two large organisations in the private and public sectors.

 

Speaking at the launch of the research, Work and Pensions Minister Maria Miller said: 

 

"For far too long flexible working has been dismissed as a burden on business, when in fact the most successful businesses understand the important role it can play in recruiting and retaining the right staff.

 

"We need to move flexible working away from being the exception, to being considered a normal way to work. With fathers wanting more of a role in family life, people working past retirement and more disabled people wanting to get into work, flexible working is something most people will want to consider at some point in their working life."

 

The research findings include:

  • Fathers working flexibly in the private sector have better physical and psychological health, are less stressed and more committed to their employer.
  • Fathers working flexibly in the public sector are less troubled by their work-life balance and sense of overload but – probably due to current stresses and job insecurity in the sector – are less likely to report higher levels of wellbeing and commitment.

 

Lead researcher from Lancaster University Dr Caroline Gatrell said: “Our results show that flexible working makes a positive difference to the lives of working fathers, which benefits both fathers and employers. Fathers who work flexibly have better health, better relationships with colleagues and feel more in control of their work-life balance, especially if they are on low incomes.”

 

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