Men learn to put diapers on babies. (U.S. Air Force photo by Karen Abeyasekere)

‘Daddy bonus’ common in B.C. workplaces, study finds

UBC researchers say dads don’t have to be number one in the office to get a raise

They may be number one in their kids’ hearts, but a recent study suggests when men become fathers, they can earn a raise without having to be the top performer in the office.

Researchers at the University of British Columbia analyzed data from Statistic Canada’s latest workplace and employee survey and found that white men often receive a wage boost when they become fathers.

“Although women typically experience a dip in earnings after becoming mothers, our study confirms the prevalence of the so-called ‘daddy bonus’— the wage boost that men enjoy when they become fathers,” lead researcher Sylvia Fuller said.

Employers are more likely to see fathers deserving of promotions and higher wages because of an unfair assumption that men are the breadwinners in their families, the study said, and therefore more likely to be hardworking and dependable.

“Of course, that assumption isn’t always true,” Fuller said.

Researchers focused on wage differences within workplaces as well, but had to limit their study to specifically white men because of wage gaps that exist among racial groups.

READ MORE: Flexible hours as mothers re-enter workforce could ease wage gap

READ MORE: B.C.’s living wage increase curbed due to MSP cuts, child care subsidy

READ MORE: Education rates, commute times and time at work all growing, census shows

The numbers suggest new fathers in professional or managerial roles enjoy the largest net wage boost within their workplace – about seven per cent – compared to a 3.6-per-cent wage boost offered to men in other occupations.

There was also a noticeable difference between “highly educated men” and those with less than a high school diploma. Men with university degrees often received a 5.3-per-cent net wage premium, compared to a 1.8-per-cent boost for other fathers.

In cases where jobs involved a collective bargaining agreement, or in companies with a human resources department, the fatherhood wage premium was significantly lower.

And in cases where work performance was more closely scrutinized for merit pay, researchers found that the fatherhood wage boost was reduced or even reversed.

“The overall story seems to be that, when there’s more scrutiny and oversight of actual performance, the fatherhood advantage diminishes,” Fuller said. “This suggests that it’s not so much that dads are necessarily working harder, but that employers think they are.”

Fuller said the findings should be cause for concern, especially for employers.

“It is discrimination on the basis of family status,” she said. “Not everybody can or wants to have kids, but that shouldn’t affect wages. It is fundamentally unfair.”


@ashwadhwani
ashley.wadhwani@bpdigital.ca

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Just Posted

WATCH: Sparks fly as SUV speeds down wrong side of Highway 1 in Chilliwack trying to flee police

Captured on video, the vehicle headed westbound against oncoming traffic before crashing

Drugs and guns seized by Chilliwack Mounties in complex case

Drug trafficking investigations led to five arrests in three different locations across Chilliwack

Chilliwack RCMP trying to catch robbery suspect

Police hope someone will identify the person who appears in security camera footage

LETTER: Why is Jati Sidhu ashamed of his riding?

Lytton’s Christopher di Armani shares his dismay at the potential name change of the MP’s riding

Chilliwack churns out new generation of wildfire fighters

School district partners with B.C. Wildfire Service to prep Grade 12s for careers

Stolen Bentley spotted going wrong way down highway found in Summerland

The car has been recorded going the wrong way on the Coquihalla, found two days later

1,300 cruise ship passengers rescued by helicopter amid storm off Norway’s coast

Rescue teams with helicopters and boats were sent to evacuate the cruise ship under extremely difficult circumstances

Province announces $18.6 million for B.C. Search and Rescue

The funding, spread over three years, to pay for operations, equipment, and training

Vancouver-bound transit bus involved in fatal crash near Seattle

One man was killed and a woman injured in crash with bus purchased by TransLink

Late-season wave of the flu makes its round in B.C.

BC Centre for Disease Control reported 50 per cent jump in flu cases in first weeks of March

Tofino’s housing crisis causing some to seek shelter at the local hospital

Tofino’s housing crisis is pushing the town’s ‘hidden homeless’ population into the forefront.

Sentencing judge in Broncos crash calls for carnage on highways to end

Judge Inez Cardinal sentenced Jaskirat Singh Sidhu to eight years

Most Read