Article

Why do men not use work-family reconciliation measures?

J. A. Fernández-Cornejo, Sabina Belope-Nguema, Lorenzo Escot and Eva del Pozo- García, Universidad Complutense de Madrid;

Many working fathers are potential users of work-family reconciliation measures that exist at their organisations but do not request them. One of the barriers that they find is a lack of sensitivity of the companies for which they work.
Key points
  • 1
       Some 37.7% of mothers requested a reduction in working hours or to work part time when returning to work, whereas only 4% of fathers requested this.
  • 2
       Some 54.4% of fathers surveyed were of the opinion that at their companies “it is considered more natural for a mother to request a reconciliation measure than for a father to do so”.
  • 3
       Although reconciliation measures are available, in practice many fathers have the perception that their capacity to use them freely is limited.
  • 4
       Fathers that have the sensation of working at a company that supports work- family reconciliation, in general, and reconciliation for fathers, in particular, experience a lesser sensation of work-family conflict
When returning to work following parental leave, in comparison with women, very few men use work-family reconciliation measures.
When returning to work following parental leave, in comparison with women, very few men use work-family reconciliation measures.

Following birth or adoption, mothers used an average of 162.7 days of leave to care for their new child, whereas fathers used just 16.8 days. Furthermore, 37.7% of mothers requested a reduction in working hours or to work part time when returning to work, whereas only 4% of fathers requested this. The differences in terms of requesting timetable flexibility and changes of shift were also important.

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