Daddy Issues: Exploring the low take up of Family Leave entitlements by new fathers.

by | May 11, 2023 | Entitlements

Earlier this year I graduated with first class honours from the Masters in Business in Equality, Diversity and Inclusion in Dún Laoghaire Institute of Art, Design and Technology. Exploring EDI from a variety of perspectives was a fascinating experience and it has been very valuable to translate my academic knowledge to my client’s workplaces. My thesis explored the low take up of family leave entitlements by new fathers notwithstanding the increases in leave entitlements for new fathers in recent years.

My research involved interviews with fathers of children aged 2 or under and some key themes emerged: the level of understanding of entitlements was low as was visibility of other fathers utilising family leave. In addition, there were barriers to utilization of this leave,  such as the financial implications as well as the fear of being replaced. However, on the plus side, the research demonstrated changing attitudes, with the participants positively disposed to fathers taking family leave from work.

My recommendations arising from the research included a simplified family leave entitlement model, as well as greater responsibility on the part of the employer to provide information and support. In addition, I argue that employers should take a longer-term view on the relatively low impact a short period of time off work has on an employee’s career.

For further discussion around Family Leave entitlements, or any aspect of equality related legislation, please contact PerspectiveHR on 0876471907 or eva@perspectivehr.ie