Employers 4 Fathers to be incorporated under enei umbrella
14 June 2012Research shows that whilst employers believe they offer ‘family-friendly’ workplaces, dads don’t always feel they can take advantage of the policies.
The Employers Network for Equality and Inclusion (enei) today announced that it is incorporating Employers 4 Fathers (E4F) into its organisation.
Employers for Fathers is a membership body comprised of employers concerned with retaining and engaging male workers who are also fathers. It is designed to help employers gain a better understanding of this group in their workforce to enable them to play an active role in their children’s upbringing. At the same time, it also aims to provide working dads with a ‘one stop shop’ of practical information.
Together, enei and E4F will work to set the recognised standard for equality and inclusion and support employers to help working fathers to identify issues and overcome any difficulties they face. By working closely with employer members, specific ‘support’ tools will also be developed.
New research from enei shows that whilst over two thirds of employers (67%) say they encourage fathers to use their work/life balance policies, less than one in five (15%) fathers say they actively make use of them. A further half (49%) of the fathers surveyed say either their company doesn’t take the work/life balance of dads into account, or they’d be mad to take advantage of the entitlements as they wouldn’t be taken seriously in the workplace.
Denise Keating, CEO, Employers Network for Equality and Inclusion, commented: “We believe there is great synergy between enei and E4F’s objectives, and there is also significant overlap between our members. We are both working with best practice employers and stakeholders to create inclusive workplaces. Whilst a lot of employers have good intentions and support time off for fathers, there is a need to actually recognise fathers, as opposed to just extending the policies they currently have in place for their female staff. As an organisation, enei believes that everyone should be treated as an individual and practical tools aimed at a specific group of people – in this case fathers – can help employers achieve this.”
The role of the father is vital in achieving gender equality. Employers have a responsibility to help to realise this and make it culturally acceptable for those with parental or caring responsibilities to balance these with work, irrespective of gender. Organisations that do achieve this will develop an advantage over those that don’t. Therefore it is important to ensure that employers support fathers to balance their commitments at home with those at work.
Caroline Waters, Director of People and Policy at BT and Chair of Employers for Fathers, said: “Many workplaces have introduced family friendly work practices, however men are often reluctant to access these policies due to the cultural expectations of their workplace, and a lack of male role models balancing work and family life. The evidence shows that fathers who work flexibly are more committed to their organisation – and feel that it is more committed to them – leading to greater engagement and the increased agility and productivity that comes with it.”