A voluminous 2009 report from the Families and Work Institute, Times are Changing: Gender and Generation at Work and at Home, found that fathers in dual-earner couples feel significantly greater work/life conflict than mothers and that this stress has risen steadily, as more wives spend longer hours at work while fathers are increasingly more involved in their children's lives.
Sixty-six countries, not including the United States, ensure fathers either receive paid paternal leave (PPL) or have a right to it. A number of U.S. organizations do offer PPL on their own, however. A 2011 benefits survey by the Society for Human Resource Management reveals that 16 percent provide PPL, down from 17 percent in 2007.
Although the Family and Medical Leave Act guarantees eligible employees 12 weeks of unpaid, job-protected leave during any 12-month period to care for a child, many fathers don't take advantage of it. In fact, only one in 20 took as much as two weeks paid or unpaid leave after their most recent child was born, according to The New Dad: Caring, Committed and Conflicted, a 2011 study of 1,000 professional fathers by the Boston College for Work and Family.
While many fathers appreciate time off to bond with baby, their most frequently cited need for helping balance work/life issues is greater flexibility, according to the Boston College study. The most common types of flexible-workplace-arrangement (FWAs) dads preferred: telecommunting and working flexible hours, the study said. The Boston College study reports the "vast majority" of fathers use FWAs informally. The study speculates that dads didn't feel they needed formal permission. But it could also mean "subtle or stealth fashion" flexibility avoids negative career-limiting implications---arriving at work later or leaving earlier than in their pre-dad days, for example.
Source: Human Resource Executive, October 16, 2011