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Wednesday, 10 October, 2001, 11:07 GMT 12:07 UK
Single fathers 'lose out at work'
single father
A quarter of lone fathers surveyed had left employment
Single fathers are facing discrimination at work, a survey has suggested.

Lone parent support charity Gingerbread, which conducted the research, said a quarter of the 115 questioned had given up their jobs because employers were too inflexible.

And more than a quarter of those who remained in employment said becoming a single father had damaged their career prospects.

According to the charity, there is less tolerance for men who need to spend time with their children than for women in the same position.

They were expected to work very long or unsocial hours and to travel and stay away overnight

Margaret Creear

Margaret Creear, from Gingerbread, said the fathers found it difficult to achieve the right balance between working and caring for children.

"They were expected to work very long or unsocial hours, travel and stay away overnight," she told BBC News.

The fathers also reported that men did not support one another in the same way as women.

And they often found it difficult to access parental support networks, which often focus on single mothers, and to meet other lone parents.

An overwhelming 61% felt society viewed them negatively.

Lone fathers and their children deserve better

Amanda Ball
Gingerbread chief executive

Gingerbread is calling on the government and employers to introduce family-friendly policies and support in all work places.

Chief executive, Amanda Ball, said: "Society puts too many unnecessary barriers in their way.

"Lone fathers and their children deserve better.

"Becoming a lone-father family is difficult enough."

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