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Report finds inflexible working hours 'harmful' for families

According to a new report from research institute Demos, inflexible jobs and working hours are causing parents to become 'increasingly distant' from their offspring.

Nick Clegg, Deputy Prime Minister, has pledged to attempt to stamp out this damaging state of affairs, by aiming to encourage businesses across the board to introduce flexible working.

The Demos 'Home Front' report also says that, alongside more help from the government, action at a local level is also essential, in order to give struggling parents more support.

The report revealed that a third of fathers work more than 48 hours each week, compared to a quarter of childless men who do the same. Meanwhile, one in eight dads was found to work over 60 hours each week.

The number of working mothers has risen to two out of every three, with three per cent working more than 60 hours a week.

The vast majority of parents surveyed felt guilty about the time spent away from their children.

Jen Lexmond, the author of the study, said, “The right kind of work that is flexible and stimulating can improve parenting, but these kinds of jobs often come hand-in-hand with high levels of stress and emotional exhaustion which can be a toxic mix for parental confidence.

“What's clear is that our jobs make it difficult to share parenting responsibilities – the result too often being a double shift for mothers and a lack of engagement from fathers,” she added.

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