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Formal and Informal Workplace Support for New Fathers in Spain

Fathers, Childcare and Work: Cultures, Practices and Policies

ISBN: 978-1-78743-042-6, eISBN: 978-1-78743-041-9

ISSN: 1530-3535

Publication date: 1 June 2018

Abstract

Most studies on work–life support at workplaces consider work–life balance to be a women’s issue, either explicitly or implicitly. This chapter analyses how fathers who are involved caregivers are supported or hindered in attaining work–life balance by their workplaces. It explores the following three questions: (1) why fathers value some job adaptations over others compared with mothers; (2) how organizational cultures influence the work–life balance of new fathers and (3) what differences exist across public and private sectors as well as large versus small companies. A qualitative approach with three discussion groups and 22 involved fathers enables us to explore these issues for large companies, public sector workplaces and small businesses. We find that tight time schedules, flextime, telework, schedule control and fully paid nontransferable leaves of absence constitute policies that favor involved fatherhood, while measures without wage replacement generate fear of penalization in the workplace and do not fit the persistent relevance of the provider role. In addition, un-similar supervisors, envy, lack of understanding and gender stereotypes among co-workers and clients constitute cultural barriers at the workplace level. Contrary to our expectations, small businesses may offer a better work–life balance than large companies, while the public sector is not always as family-friendly as assumed.

Keywords

Acknowledgements

Acknowledgments

We thank the companies’ network ‘New social uses of time’ in Barcelona (http://www.bcn.cat/barcelonainclusiva/es/xarxa11.html), the social media movement Mami/Papi Concilia (http://mamiconcilia.com/), fathers with blogs ‘Papás blogueros’ (http://papasblogueros.com/) for supporting this research by providing contacts, the participant fathers for their time and the Agencia Estatal de Investigación de España for their financial support (CSO2014-58754-P).

Citation

Jurado-Guerrero, T., Monferrer, J.M., Botía-Morillas, C. and Abril, F. (2018), "Formal and Informal Workplace Support for New Fathers in Spain", Musumeci, R. and Santero, A. (Ed.) Fathers, Childcare and Work: Cultures, Practices and Policies (Contemporary Perspectives in Family Research, Vol. 12), Emerald Publishing Limited, Bingley, pp. 131-153. https://doi.org/10.1108/S1530-353520180000012006

Publisher

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Emerald Publishing Limited

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