A report published by the TUC this week has revealed that fathers who work full-time get paid a fifth more than men with similar jobs who do not have children.
The report showed that fathers who work full-time see an average 21 per cent wage bonus, and that working fathers with two children earn nine per cent more than those with one child.
The report explains that this wage bonus may be down to fathers working longer hours and putting in an increased effort at work, compared to men without children. Labour market figures show that men with children work slightly longer hours than those without.
In contrast, mothers – even those in full-time work – tend to work shorter hours than women without children. A past report by the TUC revealed that women who become mothers before 33 typically experience a 15 per cent pay penalty compared to women who do not have children.
The TUC believes another factor in the fatherhood wage bonus may be positive discrimination, highlighting international studies which show that CVs from fathers were scored more highly by employers than identical ones from non-fathers. By comparison, CVs from mothers were marked down against those from women without children.
TUC General Secretary, Frances O’Grady, said: “In stark contrast to the experience of working mums, who often see their earnings fall after having children, fatherhood has a positive impact on men’s earnings.
“It says much about current attitudes that men with children are seen as more committed by employers, while mothers are still often treated as liabilities.”
A recent poll by the Fawcett Society suggests that public opinion in the UK reflects this bias. Twenty-nine per cent of respondents in this poll said that fathers were more committed to their jobs after having a baby. Forty-six per cent of respondents believed that women are less committed to their work after having a baby.
“While men play a much more active role in raising their children nowadays, many are afraid to request flexible working or time off in case it damages their career prospects,” said Ms O’Grady.
“We won’t break this cycle unless fathers are given access to independent paid leave to look after their kids, that isn’t shared with their partners.
“We need more decently-paid jobs to be available on a reduced hours or flexible work basis. This would reduce the motherhood pay penalty and enable more dads to take work that fits with their parenting responsibilities.”