Traditional gender roles related to working and childcare remain a common phenomenon, despite the increase in companies offering flexible working options within their staff rostering arrangements, according to research.

A survey conducted by Workingmums.co.uk and sponsored by Care.com found that less than a quarter of dads work flexibly and only four per cent work part-time.

This is despite flexible working legislation applying equally to men and women.

The poll of more than 2,500 people also found that nearly a fifth (18 per cent) of working mothers earn more than their partners, but only 27 per cent split childcare and housework responsibilities equally with their other half.

A further 19 per cent of female respondents said they are the main breadwinner in their household because they are a single parent.

The study found that the most common path back into employment after maternity leave is working part-time or starting a new job.

More than half (56 per cent) of women who followed this route earned less pro rata than before they had children.

Four out of ten (41 per cent) working mums said they would consider sharing maternity leave with their partner when shared parenting legislation takes effect next year.

More than two-thirds (70 per cent) of respondents said flexible working options would help their career progression, while 66 per cent said the ability to work from home would encourage them to take on a full-time role.

Gillian Nissim, founder of Workingmums.co.uk, said the more progressive employers are likely to support dads who want to work flexibly for the benefit of their family life.

“They recognise that greater equality in the home is tied to greater equality in the workplace,” she added.

“As flexible working becomes more normalised and accepted as a benefit for both workers and businesses, it is to be hoped that it will become harder for employers to discriminate against women and easier for women to progress in their careers.”

A report published by the Institute for Public Policy Research at the end of last year suggested that having children continues to have a significant impact on people’s wages

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