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

Eagle’s Nest’s 52 tenants still displaced due to November water main break

Cariboo Friendship Society executive director said the tenants are spead out through the community

Proposed cannabis shop rejected because of downtown location

Three councillors defeated the proposal, citing proximity to the Salvation Army and parking issues

Pregnant Cariboo firefighter tries to save own house from blaze

Julia Flinton and Anthony Sellars both worked on the 2017 wildfires

School District 27 announces new hire for superintendent position

Chris van der Mark comes with experience from the Bulkey Valley

Marie Sharpe student can’t wait for ‘trip of a lifetime’ to meet Carey Price

“I get the chance to fly to Montreal and I’ve never been on a plane before.”

B.C. storm totals $37M in insured damages

The December storm wreaked havoc on B.C.’s south coast

B.C. chief says they didn’t give up rights for gas pipeline to be built

Hereditary chief: no elected band council or Crown authority has jurisdiction over Wet’suwet’en land

Condo rental bans may be on way out with B.C. empty home tax

Many exemptions to tax, but annual declarations required

UPDATE: B.C. boy, aunt missing for three days

The pair are missing from Kamloops

Daredevil changes game plan to jump broken White Rock pier

Brooke Colby tells council daredevil event would help boost waterfront business

Liberal bows out of byelection after singling out Jagmeet Singh’s race

Karen Wang says she made comments online that referenced Singh’s cultural background

Truck hauling compressed gas for ‘virtual pipeline’ crashes on B.C. highway

Driver charged and highway closed for nine hours - containers did not rupture

Trial date moved for convicted animal abuser Catherine Adams

Adams will now be facing her breach of probation charges in court on May 16

Most Read