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Fathers’ perceptions of the availability of flexible working arrangements: evidence from the UK

O'Brien, M; (2020) Fathers’ perceptions of the availability of flexible working arrangements: evidence from the UK. Work, Employment and Society 10.1177/0950017020946687. (In press). Green open access

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Abstract

A conditional right to request flexible working arrangements (FWAs) has existed for most UK employee parents since 2003. However, there are growing concerns about access, particularly among fathers. Using nationally representative data from the 2015 UK Household Longitudinal Survey, this article examines fathers’ perceptions of the availability of hours reduction, schedule flexibility and working from home. Results show that almost one-third of fathers believe that FWAs that reduce working hours are unavailable to them, compared with one-tenth of mothers. There are no gender differences in perceptions of availability of schedule and location flexibility. Among fathers, those with lower education levels, in lower status occupations, working in the private sector and in workplaces that do not have trade union presence are more likely to believe that FWAs are unavailable. Therefore, even though most employees now have the right to request FWAs, a significant minority of fathers do not perceive FWAs to be available to them.

Type: Article
Title: Fathers’ perceptions of the availability of flexible working arrangements: evidence from the UK
Open access status: An open access version is available from UCL Discovery
DOI: 10.1177/0950017020946687
Publisher version: https://doi.org/10.1177/0950017020946687
Language: English
Additional information: https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/This article is distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/) which permits any use, reproduction and distribution of the work without further permission provided the original work is attributed as specified on the SAGE and Open Access page (https://us.sagepub.com/en-us/nam/open-access-at-sage).
Keywords: entitlement, fathers, flexible working, work–family policies, working time arrangements, work–life balance
UCL classification: UCL
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Education
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Education > UCL Institute of Education
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Education > UCL Institute of Education > IOE - Social Research Institute
URI: https://discovery.ucl.ac.uk/id/eprint/10105233
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