Work Keeping Dads from Paternity Leave

June 14, 2012 ( - Work may be keeping new dads from maximizing their paternity leave, a survey suggests.

CareerBuilder’s annual Father’s Day Survey found that two-in-five working dads (43%) who had a child in the last three years reported they did not take any paternity leave.

For those working dads who took some, but not the full allotted time off, 47% said they felt pressured by work to come back early. Of those who took some paternity leave, 59% took one week or less.

Across various categories, the stress of prolonged economic uncertainty post-recession appears to have affected more working fathers’ balance between professional and family life.

More than one-third of working dads (36%) reported they bring home work from the office, up from 27% in 2008. Fewer working dads (35%) said if their spouse or partner made enough money to support the family, they would consider trading their careers for a role of staying home with the kids – down from 37% in 2008.

While working dads want to spend more time with their families, the number of dads willing to take a pay cut to do so dropped since the recession. Thirty-three percent of working dads reported they would take a pay cut if it meant they have more quality time at home, down from 37% in 2008.

CareerBuilder also found that 22% of fathers say their work has negatively affected relationships with their children and 26% said work negatively affected relationships with significant others

“For many households, the recession has affected family life as much as personal finances,” said Alex Green, general counsel for CareerBuilder. “Many families need dual incomes, and post-recession work environments often entail longer hours. Fortunately, we see more dads taking advantage of flexible work arrangements to try to make up the difference and have more quality time with their families.”

The survey, which was conducted by Harris Interactive from February 9 to March 2, polled working fathers with children 18 and under who are living with them.