Balancing work and family responsibilities can be challenging for many parents who are employed. On top of usual work duties, working parents must also manage their time, resources and energy so that they can also tend to the needs of their children. The demand for support for working parents is high.
As reported by the UK Office for National Statistics in 2021, 75.6% of mothers with dependent children in the UK are in employment. Within this report, it is also noted that 57.7% of families with one child have both parents employed full time and 39.5% for families with three or more children.
This shows that the demand for support for working parents is high. Legally, there are laws that support and ensure parental working rights such as the Work and Families Act 2006, Employment Act 2002 and the Flexible Working Regulations 2006. These have helped more working parents to be supported by their employers through various means, such as flexible working and parental leave.
As an employer, there are three ways that have been curated here – which are the top ways to support working parents employed in the organisation.
Providing Support for their Success
Knowing the added responsibility that working parents go through, employers should provide what they need for them to succeed in their work. Having conversations about their situation to understand their position fully will help point employers in the right direction. For example, on-site childcare is something that many parents would like to have in the workplace when they are required to come into the workplace. Showing support to employees who are working parents, they are more likely to feel valued by their employer and will help them succeed in their roles.
When support is not provided, working parents might have to go to many lengths to fulfil their responsibilities for their children. This may cause delays or decreased performance in their work. On top of that, they may then have to seek other workplaces that will better fit their lifestyle and responsibilities.
Build Healthy Workplace Culture
Promoting a healthy work-life balance has direct links to employee satisfaction and employee retention. When the workplace has a healthy culture in place, working parents will feel more comfortable in their employment situation and their home lives. Allowing employees to take adequate breaks and occasional time off will significantly help working parents manage their time. Incorporating childcare benefits can also be beneficial in retaining working parents, further showing an employer’s commitment to a healthy work-life balance. Empathising with working parents’ responsibilities will also show that the workplace values them as individuals and not solely for their productivity.
Be Open to Flexible Working Styles
One of the most significant and impactful ways that an organisation can support working parents is by offering flexible working styles. Being responsible for children means that occasionally working parents may have to be for their children and will not be able to commit to a full-time, fully on-site, working style. Offering flexible working, such as hybrid working or part-time working, will help working parents manage their time better and will allow them to show up for their children.