“As a formal flexible working arrangement wasn’t possible, I’m pleased I’ve been able to work flexibly through informal arrangements in my department.”
“My department are very supportive, and each semester I work with the other teachers to swap our sessions so that I can finish at 4pm and collect my son.
“That’s easier when I teach on a large module as there are plenty of other staff I can swap with. And it’s been so far so good! I am thankful for the good will of my colleagues.
“Without this informal flexibility, I’m not sure how we would manage our childcare. My son’s childcare provider – who we are really happy with – closes at 5.30pm. We don’t have any grandparents nearby, so I suppose we’d have to move him to another nursery open later or pay someone else to collect him.
“Because I lecture in leadership and human resources, I know about flexible working and I’m confident to ask for it. But other dads may not be so well informed.
“There can be a stigmatisation of dads who ask for flex, due to our persistent cultural attitudes towards men and masculinity in the workplace. I’m lucky I don’t encounter that because of my field of research.
“I think a day one right to flexible working would make a big difference to working parents.
“And to see job adverts showing the flexible working options available in the role would be great – because it then takes away the burden of the job applicant having to ask for flexibility. You need confidence to do that, and that can be difficult especially in your early career, or at the end of your career if you’re caring for family members.”