Towards a positive work-life balance for families

Flexible working solutions can support not only working parents but all staff. It is widely acknowledged that there are strong business reasons for employers to provide flexible working policies which can create a positive work-life balance, increasing staff well-being, productivity and motivation and helping both to recruit and retain the best staff.

In Employers For Childcare’s ‘Striking the Balance’ research with working parents, 91 per cent of respondents commented on the difficulty of achieving a healthy work-life balance. Our findings highlighted the difficulties parents can face in combining work with family commitments and shows that, while there are some examples of great practice, there is still more to be done to help parents reap the benefits of a family friendly workforce.

In Great Britain, the Government’s ‘Good Work Plan – Proposals to Support Families’ consultation was launched in July 2019. The consultation is reviewing current flexible working measures to identify how to prioritise support to meet the needs of modern families and employers. Amongst various considerations, proposals include requiring employers to consider if a job can be done flexibly, and mandating larger employers to publish details of their flexible working policies. As employment law is reserved, the proposals do not apply to Northern Ireland. However, we are keen for employers here to learn from these developments and consider proposals similar to those in the consultation.

To support organisations to create a family friendly culture and highlight the benefits to employers and employees, we have produced a ‘Family Friendly Employer Guide’, available on our website. We also recognise and celebrate employers who go above and beyond the legal requirements to implement family friendly working policies through our annual Family Friendly Employer Awards, now in their ninth year. We look forward to revealing the 2019 winners at a gala awards ceremony and celebration lunch in the Galgorm Resort and Spa on Wednesday 16 October.

For more information on family friendly working policies or our 2019 awards, please call 028 9267 8200 or contact


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