A report published in May 2018 -The Modern Families Index 2018 – Employer Summary Report highlights that for many modern families dual-earning is commonplace. The number of families where both parents work has risen to 68%. In 2017, according to the Institute for Fiscal Studies report* 78% of mothers aged 24-54 were in employment (this is up almost 50% on 40 years ago).
This makes the issue of family-friendly workplaces high on the agenda for job seekers. While employers should be looking to create a supportive workplace to help parents create a better work life balance.
Sarah Jackson OBE, Chief Executive of Working Families said
“Parents, particularly millennial parents, are looking for human-sized jobs and supportive workplace cultures that genuinely allow them to combine work and family. Employers whose approach to organising work and underlying workplace culture hasn’t caught up with their family friendly policies may find that, for parents, they aren’t an employer of choice.”
The Modern Families report revealed that many parents are working outside their contracted hours in order to meet their manager’s expectations and to help career progression.
The Key findings of the report reveal:
- The UK continues to have a long hours culture which disadvantages working parents and damages family life – and parents are voting with their feet in response.
- There is a clear and growing parenthood penalty – fathers as well as mothers are making career compromises.
- Flexible working on its own is not enough to deliver work life balance for parents.
- Family friendly workplace culture is key to unlocking parents’ potential.
In our last blog we looked at what makes a great manager and recognised that great managers are found where a supportive workplace culture exists. A supportive work environment is crucial to creating a productive organisation and increasing employee well-being. They are places where employees can openly come to their managers with their concerns, knowing their leaders care about the problems they face.
Of course, there are rights protected by law which support parents (and carers) in the workplace (including by not exclusively; shared parental leave, adoption leave, flexible working, time off for dependents). Any supportive workplace should adhere to law but perhaps should look at other working practices and approaches that can support all employees. How does your workplace create a supportive culture for staff?