13th March 2017

Hiring And Accommodating Working Parents

Making the parenthood penalty pay for you

Words By Rianna Fulham | Design by Glenna Perry

Workplaces are stifling fathers’ career aspirations, according to the 2017 Modern Families Index. The report, published by Working Families and Bright Horizons, found that almost half (44%) of fathers have lied to their employer about family-related responsibilities that ‘get in the way’ of work.

Untapped talent

Whilst it’s clear what the working parent needs, the question would be better put to employers to see what’s stopping them from bringing in a more flexible resource, says Jane Johnson, Managing Director and Founder of FEEL Communications. “We need to get better at presenting that business case to employers and showing - in measurable ways - the value a working parent will bring,” Johnson explains. “That could be additional hours, or someone who can cover hours outside the nine-to-five. For example, if a company has a budget of 50,000, a working parent with senior experience but who wants three or four days a week may accept that salary. The employer gets the benefit of a more senior person on three days a week, rather than pay that same salary to a more junior person five days a week.

“Because hiring flexible resources into highly-skilled roles is relatively new territory, one of the hardest things is convincing the hiring manager of the benefits to the company. It does take a leap of faith, but so many parents out there want to prove they can make this work.”

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(This article appeared in HR Grapevine, March 2017)

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