Trends in fathers’ working arrangements

Fathers at Work
Friday 27 July


Dr Jennifer Baxter
Australian Institute of Family Studies

The time use and fathering literature tells us that fathers spend more time on child care in recent years compared to decades past, yet fathers continue to be the main income earner in many families with children, especially when children are young. They continue to work long hours, and take up flexible work options and parental leave at considerably lower rates than do mothers. This presentation will use recent census and survey data to describe the trends in fathers’ employment, work hours and use of different flexible work options, including leave. This will be contextualised using family-level data, to show how fathers’ employment patterns contrast with those of mothers.

The paper explores whether there are particular characteristics of fathers, families or of jobs for which there is a higher likelihood of fathers making use of family-friendly work arrangements, and whether that is linked to those fathers being more involved in the care of children. These analyses provide important context for the other papers in this symposium.