Last year Employers For Childcare launched ‘Striking the Balance’, a report which explores the impact becoming a parent has on a person’s working life, employment and career. The results clearly demonstrate that trying to balance work with family life can be a challenge, with 91 per cent of respondents stating that it was difficult to combine work responsibilities with home commitments.
Perhaps more worryingly, 77 per cent of the 4,200 respondents said that it was more difficult to progress or develop a career after having children. For many, this was attributed to the attitude of the employer or the general perception of working parents. On a positive note, our findings also show that there are ways of supporting parents to reach a work-life balance, whilst also facilitating career progression. The role of the employer is vital in achieving this. When implemented correctly, parents become more satisfied with their work-life balance and employers reap the benefits of having more committed, productive and loyal employees.
Interestingly, 2015 was the year when many large international organisations began to offer parents a range of family friendly policies, with the aim of retaining staff and attracting new talent. Major companies such as Goldman Sachs Netflix, Virgin and introduced ground-breaking policies for their employees, and by setting the trend they prompted international debate on the need to support employees.
In Northern Ireland there are also exceptional examples of family friendly employers, many of which are showcased annually in our Family Friendly Employer Awards. These employers proactively seek out ways to support their existing employees and also attract new talent.
Investors in People’s latest ‘Job Exodus’ survey revealed that 34 per cent of employees said they would prefer a more flexible approach to working hours over a three per cent pay rise. At a time of limited resources and financial constraints, offering flexible working options to employees is a cost effective way of supporting your staff, and one which acknowledges that their work-life balance is important.
Employers For Childcare works with employers to help create family friendly workplaces. We will be holding a Family Friendly Employer Workshop on Thursday 3rd March to bring together HR professionals to share best practice and provide inspiration and practical ideas to help improve staff morale, reduce absenteeism and increase business productivity. Keep an eye on our website for more detail. For more information on supporting your employees contact us on 0800 028 6538.