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Flexible fatherhood or flexible working?

Thursday, 17 February 2011
10:00 - 11:30
The Work Foundation

Flexible fatherhood or flexible working?

How can government, society and employers ensure that fathers feel able to take up flexible working options offered to them. And is this current economic climate an opportunity or a threat to flexible working?
Fathers could receive up to 10 months of paid paternity leave and extra blocks of time off to help with childcare under plans set out by the Coalition Government. Despite a shift in attitude and policy, the modern father is likely to work longer hours when his children are young than at any other time in his career. Will the introduction of Additional Paternity Leave legislation, to be implemented in April, create a massive administrative headache for small firms and HR departments? Will it open the floodgates of dads sporadically taking time off to rush home and care for the kids?

Looking at European funded research, some countries such as Belgium have introduced ‘time credit’ systems to allow staff to take periods of leave for a range of family, personal and professional reasons. Forward looking organisations will be interested in developing flexible working policies: allowing them to retain valuable staff that may not be able to work full-time or long hours at particular phases during their lives; it may give them access to other new workers; and it may also allow staff to upgrade their skills by following other professional learning opportunities.


Chair: Stephen Overell, Associate Director, Policy,  The Work Foundation

Professor Claire Wallace, Aberdeen University, coordinator for WorkCare



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