According to a survey by recruitment firm Office Angels, fathers want to work part-time in order to spend more time with their children, but worry about how they will be viewed for doing so.

The report, ‘Rise of the part-time dads’, revealed that 57% of respondents who currently work full-time would like to reduce their hours, but the findings also suggest that they are apprehensive about how they will be perceived by society.

Of 1,072 working fathers who were surveyed, 70% admitted to being concerned that society attaches a stigma to the part-time working father.

In addition to this, 54% said they feared being seen as the ‘weaker partner’ for choosing to stay at home.

The report found that the most common reasons for fathers choosing to work part-time were: to share in household and family responsibilities (32%); to spend more time with their children (31%); and to achieve a better work/life balance (31%).

Commenting on the findings, Angela Smith, Operations Director, Office Angels, said:

“It’s no longer unusual for the woman to be the highest earning partner in a relationship, and against this backdrop, a new trend has emerged: that of the part-time dads, who take a greater role in the upbringing of their children.

“We found that it is not just financial matters alone that steer these life choices. Work-life balance is increasingly a subject that weighs heavy on dads’ minds.”

Another revelation from the research was that 27% of those surveyed did not take the two weeks paternity leave they were entitled to.

Smith commented:

“Fathers are not taking advantage of their paternity leave entitlement, which could be for a number of reasons. They may feel that their workload is too heavy, or their colleagues will disapprove, or they might simply not know about their legal rights to request time off.”

She concluded:

“With Government changing legislation so fathers can spend more time with their children, by 2015 parents will be allowed to share the 50 week maternity leave entitlement, we should see more dads taking advantage of their paternity leave entitlement.”