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For Working Dads, Workflex Works

Patrick Brady 06/17/18

Growing up, both my father and mother worked. What may have been the exception when I was a kid has become the norm, where most young families are dual-income. Now 35 and married with a five-year-old son and a wife who also works full-time, mine is just such a family.

In our household, a typical workweek requires a significant amount of flexibility to coordinate our son’s drop-off/pickup from school, doctors’ appointments, and after-school activities, just to name a few. While I am fortunate to have an employer that provides a flexible work arrangement that accommodates my hectic schedule, not all working parents are so fortunate. With Father’s Day just around the corner, Congress should support dads and all working parents by passing the Workflex in the 21st Century Act (H.R. 4219).

Besides providing employees flexibility to juggle work and fatherly responsibilities, just as SHRM does for me, the bill is good for employers too. Consider the findings of a survey by Boston College’s Center for Work & Family, The New Dad: The Career-Caregiving Conflict.1 The report found that “conflicted fathers” (those wanting to split caregiving responsibilities 50/50 with their spouse but who also acknowledge that more caregiving falls to their spouse) struggle the most regarding their roles as caregivers, and have significantly lower levels of career satisfaction than either of the other two types of fathers in the study—“Egalitarian” and “Traditional.”

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