We believe we’re at a tipping point. Over the past 50 years we have seen striking cultural changes from a time when many dads weren’t even at their children’s births, to the present-day reality when 98% are at the birth and millions are fully involved in a nurturing/caring role. The old stereotype of married breadwinner and disciplinarian no longer serves us in an age of increasing diversity and gender equality.
In the past year new legislation has provided eligible employees the right to access shared parental leave and all employees the right to request flexible working – this means that taking leave from work to care for our families and working flexibly can be seen as not just a benefit used by mums. We believe this is an opportunity for dads to increase the day-to-day involvement with their children which many dads crave. However, unless we create more awareness of policies and practices, share the benefits to families and to business, many dads will struggle against outdated attitudes. That’s why Year of the Dad is offering a nudge to accelerate positive change by celebrating and supporting the key contribution fathers make to child development, family and community life.