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

Battle for Alberni Valley Bulldogs roster spots begins

Main camp opens this week at Weyerhaeuser Arena

ARTS AROUND: Join watercolour workshops in Port Alberni

Victoria artist Joanne Thomas will provide beginner and advanced classes

‘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

Bullhead derby returns to Port Alberni with new date, location

Lions Club partners with Maritime Discovery Centre

Vancouver Island woman to attempt historic swim across Juan de Fuca Strait today

Ultra-marathon swimmer Susan Simmons to attempt to swim from Victoria to Port Angeles and back

B.C. man builds 10-foot sign thanking fire responders

Ken Rawson built his “thank u” sign on Saturday as helicopters responded to fires around the province.

PHOTOS: Olympian Patrick Chan helps B.C.’s ‘SuperChefs’ celebrate 10th anniversary

Former figure skater among those at event Friday in Surrey

Smaller B.C. bus service prepares to replace Greyhound

Kootenay-to-Okanagan run would require online reservations

Mother charged with homicide of Langley seven-year-old

Aaliyah Rosa’s 36-year-old mother charged with second degree murder: IHIT

Despite threats, Soldiers of Odin a no show at B.C. tent city

Nanaimo’s Discontent City held a counter rally on Sunday

Trudeau formally announces he’ll run again in 2019

PM Justin Trudeau gears up to run in next year’s election

Smoke from B.C. wildfires prompts air quality advisories across Western Canada

A massive cloud of smoke hangs over B.C. and Alberta due to wildfires

Pope on sex abuse: “We showed no care for the little ones”

In response to the Pennsylvania report, Francis labeled the misconduct “crimes”

Most Read