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Ten Top Tips for a Father-friendly workplace

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1. Know who the fathers and grandfathers are in your organisation

  • Ask them to sign up to a data base as carers along with mums and grandmothers.

2. Ask your dads or father figures what they need

  • Set up focused groups or a dads’ network to feedback
  • Survey them online
  • Set up webinars for those working across geographical areas
  • Create informal opportune moments for men to talk shoulder to shoulder eg Mens' Health Day

3. Target your dads in corporate communication

  • With updates of policy
  • With pictures which look like them and will engage them (eg best sports day moment)
  • Think about key transition points eg first day at school, crises, retirement

4. See parenthood as a personal development opportunity

  • Case studies of how careers can be managed around families
  • Role models in senior positions eg a grandad working reduced hours
  • Talks by dads and step dads with expert advice and resources

5. Use technology to enable family friendly agile working

  • Managers and HR to give guidance on using technology to enable flexible working without devaluing and disrupting family lives
  • Encourage team meetings on how to manage boundaries around work and family life

6. Promote father-friendly working to employee networks

  • Promote how gender equality improves the wellbeing of all employees
  • Up-skill employees round the transferable skills of parenthood such as negotiation and delegation
  • Close the gender pay gap by encouraging fathers to take leave and work reduced hours so that they can take time to care

7. Promote mental health awareness

  • Increase awareness of depression, burnout and stress and signpost to local resources

8. Train line managers on how to have sensitive open conversations with men

  • After uptake of leave, managers must set the expectation - “I expect you will want to take time away from work during your baby’s first year”
  • Embrace taking leave, working flexibly and talking about home life
  • Make managers gate openers to policy - don’t leave it to HR

9. Pay paternity leave above 60% of their salary

  • Encourage uptake of leave by asking ‘why not?’
  • Match maternity pay with shared parental leave pay
  • Makie it a day one right to access paternity and shared parental leave

10. Support dads in a childcare crisis

  • With solutions – websites, signposting or policy so that they deal with a crisis

For examples of top employers for fathers and their family-friendly practices, check out

Prepared by Sam Pringle, Acting CEO of Fathers Network Scotland