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Cath Everett

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Fathers want employers to be flexible friends


While less than one in five men would be prepared to take all of their proposed new six month-long paternity leave entitlement, nearly eight out of 10 would be keen to go for a flexible working arrangement if their employer encouraged it.

These are the findings of a recent poll undertaken by YouGov and commissioned by mobile telecoms operator, Orange. The new paternity leave legislation, which comes into force in April next year, will enable mothers to transfer the second half of their year-long maternity leave to their partners.
But the study found that just under half of fathers were unlikely to take advantage of their new rights because of money worries. Some 15% simply felt they were simply too vital to the business to take time off, while 3% believed that senior management were actively against such a proposition.
As a result, some 27% of respondents indicated that they would not take any time off at all, although a huge 79% said they would be happy to adopt flexible working patterns if their employer was game.
Unfortunately, however, nearly a third believed that senior managers and colleagues were unlikely to support such a move, with only 10% currently undertaking flexible working at the moment.
Martin Lyne, Orange UK’s director for small and medium businesses, said: “Businesses need to address this demand or they risk losing valuable members of staff and future revenues. It’s surprising how few employers encourage flexible working schemes, especially when there is so much technology to enable it.”
Some 57% of those questioned saw broadband as a key tool to enable such working practices, while 54% believed that laptops were important. A further 32% also thought mobile phones or smartphones would be beneficial in helping them work from home.


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