I was pleased to join Vanessa Feltz for the first newspaper review of 2019 on her popular BBC Radio London show. As ever, there was lively discussion, from micropubs to retail woes, but one story in particular stood out.
Speaking to Hello! magazine, former Countryfile host Julia Bradbury has complained of the unequal treatment between mothers and fathers in the workplace. We have previously discussed the poor take up of shared parental leave amongst men, but Bradbury was most concerned about taking time out to care for older children when they fall ill or need urgent attention. As a working mum who spends time away from the family home, she has recognised the perceived lack of opportunity for men to have 'family time' and, by extension, to share family responsibilities.
Aside from legal rights and duties, I have always said that any cultural shift in an organisation must come from the top down and I stand by this. If those in authority and higher up the chain of command are seen to be acting positively towards family friendly rights it will create an environment where the work life balance is not only tolerated but encouraged. Bradbury has joined the conversation, but there are far too few male leaders speaking out in this important debate.
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