However, that problem can in part be solved by finding employment with an organization that supports a commitment to family. In the world of work, we typically refer to these employers as being "family friendly."
But fathers just entering the workforce or trying to find employment can have a hard time distinguishing a "family friendly" workplace from one that is not. So what should fathers look for when they are trying to find an employer who understands and supports their role as fathers, and not just as an employee.
Generally speaking, a family friendly workplace will have many of the following characteristics:
Family Friendly Employee Benefits
Cafeteria Plans. There are significant tax savings available to employees who have a cafeteria plan managed by their employers. These plans, created under US Federal tax law, allow certain medical and child care expenses to be paid for with pre-tax dollars. Employees essentially set aside a certain amount of each paycheck into a reimbursement account that comes out prior to taxes. When eligible expenses are incurred, then the employee is reimbursed out of that account.
Health Insurance Coverage for Dependents. Even though health care costs are spiraling out of control, many employers still offer at least some subsidy for family health care. Look for an employer who pays at least part of the premium for health, dental and/or vision coverage for employees and dependents. This can be a huge benefit.
Child Care Assistance. Some employers provide financial assistance for employees who have child care expenses. This assistance can range from providing low-cost or no-cost on-site child care to an allowance of some kind. These benefits are less frequent than they once were, but are still available through some employers.
Paternity Leave. Under the Family Medical Leave Act, fathers are entitled to limited time off without pay when a child is born or adopted. However, some employers provide paid time off for paternity leave, or allow employees to use accumulated vacation leave or sick leave for this purpose. You should check out your potential employer's paternity leave policy.
Flex Time. One of the most important family friendly policy is one that allows flexible scheduling of work hours. This may consist of a four day work week, it may allow working at home for all or part of the work week; it may allow tracking compensatory time for hours worked in excess of legal maximums in a week. A flexible work schedule arrangement can be a real positive for fathers with strong time commitments at home.