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Acas publishes new advice to help working dads spend more time with their family

Sunday 21 June 2015

Workplace experts Acas have published a new flexible working guide and top tips on Father's Day to help working dads consider the options available to spend more time with the family whilst working.

From flexi-time to compressed hours, there are multiple ways for fathers to strike a better balance between work and quality family time. Acas' work-life balance guide highlights the full range of options available to dads that are hands-on - both in business and at home.

Acas Head of Information and Guidance, Stewart Gee said:

"Some dads may feel that being a full-time worker means sacrificing spending some quality time with the kids but there are many workplace options out there that they may not be aware of.

"Our new guide could help thousands of dads from missing out on bed times, school plays, parents' evenings and more. The right working pattern can really make a huge difference to family life without affecting business needs.

"As workplace experts, we want to make sure that employers and employees understand the variety of working patterns that are out there because this really can benefit the business as well as the employee."

To celebrate Father's Day, Acas has produced a set of top tips for working dads that could help them get a better work-life balance:

Consider the options: There are a wide range of flexible working arrangements that are available. For example they can cover the way your working hours are organised during the day, such as flexi time that allows you to build up additional time off on occasions when you work late - so you have the option to get in at non-set times to help with school runs. Or you might want to consider job sharing which would mean working less days. Homeworking is also another option. You should properly consider the range of flexible options available and think about what is right for you, your job, and your family.

Speak to your partner: Talk to your partner before speaking to your employer. There are many different combinations that are possible with flexible working to get a better work-life balance and you will need to make sure they fit around your life and work for you as a couple. You may want to work more flexibly when your children are younger, for childcare purposes or do compressed hours so you get an additional day off but work longer hours on the days you are working - the choice is yours.

Be prepared & think about how it can work for your team/employer: You should prepare for your conversation with your employer by thinking about the practical ways that a flexible working arrangement can work for you, your team and your employer without affecting business or productivity. Showing that you can demonstrate this to your employer will help to show that you have thought about this properly and practically. It is also important to bear in mind that not all flexible working arrangements will be suitable in all workplaces.

Speak to your employer: a good conversation with your employer can allow you both to come up with a good arrangement that works for both of you. For example, options for customer facing roles can be limited but flexi-time, part-time working and job sharing could still be considered. You might find mobile working suitable, which allows an employee to work all or part of their working week at a location away from their employer's workplace. Traditional mobile workers include sales representatives and delivery drivers. See Flexible Working Code and Guidance at The right to request flexible working.

Look into shared parental leave if you and your partner are both working and expecting a new arrival to the family: If you are going to be a new dad then you might want to think about shared parental leave where couples can share the first year off with the baby. You can check to make sure that you are eligible with this online calculator GOV.UK - Calculate your leave and pay when you have a child.

Stewart Gee added:

"A good balance between an employee's work commitments and family responsibilities can help to reduce stress, absence and increase productivity.

"Of course, flexible working isn't just for parents; employees who have a better work-life balance often have a greater sense of responsibility, ownership and control of their working life. If an employer helps an employee to balance their work and home life this can be rewarded by increased loyalty and commitment."

The right to request flexible working was extended to all employees last April 2014 and is designed to give employers confidence in responding positively to requests and changing workplace cultures for the better. The full guide: Flexible working and work life balance is available from the The right to request flexible working page.

Notes to Editors

  1. Flexible working and work-life balance guide is available from the The right to request flexible working page. It is a helpful guide that highlights the various options for working more flexibly. The right to request flexible working is now available for anyone, not just parents, which means can be good for businesses and families. More information on flexible working is also available from the The right to request flexible working page.
  2. Shared parental leave and pay came into effect for babies due on or after 5 April 2015, or adoptions where the child is placed on or after 5 April. The shared parental leave system gives parents more choice and freedom in how they share the care of their child in the first year after birth. More is available from Shared parental leave and pay. Only eligible employees can apply for shared parental leave.
  3. Acas stands for Advisory, Conciliation and Arbitration Service. Acas provides free and impartial information and advice to employers and employees on all aspects of workplace relations and employment law. We support good relationships between employers and employees which underpin business success. We also provide good value, high quality training and tailored advice to employers. Our expertise is based on millions of contacts with employers and employees each year. Acas is an independent and impartial statutory body governed by a Council made up of members from business, trade unions, academia and the law.
  4. A sample policy on shared parental leave for employers and template letters for both employers and employees on how to request and handle SPL requests can be downloaded at Shared parental leave and pay.

For media enquiries or to receive the new flexible working guide on a strictly embargoed basis please contact Sophia Said, Media and Internal Communications Manager on 0207 210 3680 / ssaid@acas.org.uk. For out of hours media enquiries please call the out of hours duty press officer on 020 7210 3600.