Flexible working advocate wins the White House

Joe Biden’s been a working dad for decades, and a memo dating from his last stint in the White House shows he values work life balance

Post it note that says Vote Biden on it


When it comes to role models they don’t come much higher than the US President. And Joe Biden, who finally scooped up enough votes to defeat Donald Trump at the weekend, is a working dad who believes in flexible working.

Biden was anointed President elect late on Saturday. But he previously served as vice president during Barack Obama’s time in the White House.

Campaigners have drawn attention to a remarkable memo he sent all staff insisting they put their families first.

Family responsibilities

In the memo sent in 2014 to his staff while vice president Biden insists his team must not “miss or sacrifice important family obligations for work”. He goes on to list the sort of events he considers more important than work. It includes birthdays, weddings, anniversaries, religious ceremonies, illness and loss. He adds, “I will go so far as to say that if I find out you are working with me while missing important family responsibilities, it will disappoint me greatly.”

He claimed this family first policy has been an ‘unwritten rule’ of his since he first entered the US Senate nearly 50 years ago. That would make him a progressive employer in the 70s and 80s.

Biden’s first wife and baby daughter were killed in a car crash in 1972, shortly after he first won election to the Senate. His two sons were badly injured in the accident. He was sworn in at hospital because he refused to leave his sons’ bedsides.

His son Beau died of brain cancer in 2015. Because of that tragedy he decided to sit out the race for the White House in 2016 

Biden clearly enjoys a close relationship with his children and grandchildren. He has been a working dad throughout their lives.

Countless videos are circulating on social media of examples of Biden’s empathy. He appears comfortable around those that have suffered loss, children and people with disabilities. Donald Trump famously mocked a reporter with disabilities at a rally during his 2016 campaign. 

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