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

‘Beauty amongst such tragedy:’ B.C. photographer captures nature’s trifecta

David Luggi’s photo from a beach in Fraser Lake shows Shovel Lake wildfire, Big Dipper and an aurora

New Barriere Fire Chief appointed

Ashley Wohlgemuth first woman to serve as Fire Chief in Barriere

B.C. declares state of emergency as more than 560 wildfires rage

This is only the fourth state of emergency ever issued during a fire season

Third overall in Canada for McLure, B.C. cowboy

McLure junior bull rider, Jake Bradley, finished third overall at the recent… Continue reading

UPDATE: 5 injured in plane crash following Abbotsford International Airshow

One in critical condition in incident involving vintage plane

‘We will not forget:’ Thousands attend funeral fallen Fredericton officers

Hundreds of officials marched in the parade, which included massed band, several police motorcycles

Vancouver Whitecaps give up late goal in 2-2 draw with New York Red Bulls

Four of Vancouver’s next five games are at home

B.C. man designer behind Canucks’ retro jersey

Jeremie White was 20 years old when he told Canucks assistant GM Brian Burke he had a design

Lions give up late TD in 24-23 loss to Argos

B.C. falls to 3-5, fumbling away last-minute chance in Toronto

Eagle tree cut down legally a 1st for B.C. city

Planned eagle preserve ‘a first for City of Surrey’

Northern B.C. residents face more evacuation orders as some smoke clears up

Regional District of BulkleyNechako issued new, expanded evacuation orders for remote areas Saturday

Smoky skies like a disappearing act for sights, monuments around B.C.

Haze expected to last the next several days, Environment Canada said

Canadians react to death of former UN secretary-general Kofi Annan at age 80

Nobel Peace Prize-winning former UN leader died early Saturday following a short illness

Most Read