Traditionally the father of the home was expected to be the provider and breadwinner of the family whilst the mother's role was nurturer and caretaker of the children. However, in modern society with mothers entering the workplace the role of the father has been impacted considerably. Fathers are now expected to actively participate in the rearing and caring of the children whilst upholding their commitment as a co-provider of their children as well. In modern society, fathers are challenged to balance work and family obligations. The workplace has generally not been sympathetic to the dual responsibilities that employed fathers have. Fathers would not always receive the same kind of compassionate support from their employers when it comes to their obligations with regards to the needs of their children as their female colleagues would. However, in recent years, workplaces are progressively recognising that fathers too may find it difficult to balance their work and family life. The goal of the study was to determine the impact of the work and personal life challenges of the fathers employed at a factory in the Western Cape. The two theoretical frameworks that guide this study are the General Systems Theory and Role Theory. Ninety-seven (97) working fathers were purposively selected by means of the non-probability sampling method. The research approach to this study was the quantitative approach. The study sought to immediately provide numerical data that would scientifically describe and explain the phenomena. The researcher used the randomised cross sectional survey design as this design is appropriate for the utilisation of a questionnaire that allows the researcher to examine several groups of fathers at one point in time. Responses were done on a 5-point Likert scale ranging from strongly disagree, disagree, neither agree or disagree, strongly agree and agree. The research results suggest that there is a correlation between the absenteeism in their children's lives of the fathers that were surveyed and the current trend of absent fathers in South Africa. The survey also supports the academic literature that a father's identity is embedded in being able to provide for his family and that fathers from a lower economic status are less likely to reside with their children. Based on the results of this research, it can be concluded that working fathers generally do not implement their right to take leave from their workplace after the birth of their children. The research results also showed that work-life challenges can negatively impact fathers employed in a factory as a workplace in the Western Cape; however, the research also revealed that workplaces that render Employee Assistance Programmes to their workforce can significantly mitigate that impact. Drawing on the results of this study, it is recommended that further research be conducted with regard to fatherhood policies within the workplace. Workplace policies specifically designed to address the needs of the working father would allow the working father to be productive as an employee but also feel successful in the rearing of his children.
Mini Dissertation (MSW)--University of Pretoria, 2017.