The Telegraph

(Filed: 17/12/2002)

Fathers work longer hours than colleagues

By Sarah Womack, Social Affairs Correspondent
The Telegraph

Men with children are spending more time in the office than their childless counterparts, according to a new study out today.

Research by the University of Hertfordshire showed that a third of fathers spent more than 50 hours a week at work, compared with a quarter of childless men and one in 20 women without children.

Fathers said they worked long hours to provide for their children but they also expressed a yearning to be more involved in their youngsters' lives. Almost two-fifths said they would prefer to work fewer hours.

The research, which is part of an EU study, also showed that fathers in Britain worked longer hours than their European counterparts.

Four out of 10 fathers worked more than the 48 hours per week specified by the EU Working Time Directive, compared with two out of 10 in the Netherlands and in Sweden.

Dr Christine Cousins, co-author of the report, said: "British fathers are putting in such long hours at work that they are missing out on valuable time with their children."

The survey questioned 945 adults aged between 18 and 64.

© Copyright of Telegraph Group Limited 2002.