BRYNJA RÚN BENEDIKSDÓTTIR, UNIVERSITY OF EDINBURGH BS, FNS & FFWS
Cultural effects on the uptake of family-friendly policies by fathers in SMEs.
This research set out to understand how the culture of SMEs (small private organisations with between 50-250 employees) in Scotland impacts on the utilisation of family-friendly policies and what can be done to eliminate any barriers so that more organisations and families can benefit.
Fathers are now experiencing work-life conflicts at a comparable rate to mothers - especially in relation to work overload. In spite of the evidence of the positive impact of family-friendly policies on productivity, reduced turnover and higher levels of job satisfaction take up remains low for fathers.
This may be due to perceived negative career consequences, gender stereotyping or for financial reasons. A "fatherhood penalty" is increasingly in evidence, whereby fathers find it necessary to seek lower-paid and lower quality work in order to take on more caring responsibilities. (Working Families Modern Families Index 2017)
“There is also a significant aspect in terms of the perception around what this (using policies) would do to your career. I don’t think the statistics necessarily back that up in terms of our organisations but the perception is there is a negative impact and this is part of the issue: perception is reality”
This research was undertaken by Brynja Rún Benediktsdóttir. as part of an MSc in Human Resource Management at the University of Edinburgh Business School.