Policy must catch up with changing gender roles in British householdsby Maria Miller / April 6, 2018 / Leave a comment
On the third anniversary of its Shared Parental Leave scheme, the government should be commended for its attempts to spread childcare responsibilities more equally—but further reforms to family friendly policies are still needed.
The Women and Equalities Committee, which I Chair, held a major inquiry into the support that fathers receive at work to help them better fulfil their caring responsibilities and we published our report just before Easter.
We found that fathers increasingly want to play a more active role in looking after their children. The government is clear that fathers should take on a greater share of childcare duties and it has a number of well-intentioned policies to support this aim.
However, as our inquiry heard, these policies simply do not deliver on what they promise, and particularly so for less well-off fathers. Many men are put off due to perceived negative stereotypes about a man’s role at home, the impact on their career or simply because they do not feel that workplace policies are supportive enough.