Employer’s Guide To Support Working Parents
Key Contact: Claire Knowles
Author: Swyn Llyr
September can be a busy period for all; with children settling back to school, and parents juggling work commitments combined with the dreaded school run and family responsibilities. You may notice some distracted working parents in the workplace as they try to balance work and family life.
Employers can play a fundamental role in assisting parents during this challenging time by being understanding and taking proactive steps. Nowadays, not all employees can/want to work the standard Monday – Friday, 9am – 5pm job. If employers don’t consider how they can support working parents, businesses could find themselves limiting their options when it comes to recruitment and retention. Find out below how you, as an employer, can support working parents.
- Embrace flexibility, perhaps through flexible working hours or the option to work from home. You could consider adjusting an employees working hours to better suit their desired schedule or use a combination of core and flexible hours so that staff can shape their working hours to suit their needs on a week-by week basis. Alternatively, you could consider adopting a hybrid working policy, allowing employees to split their work time between a remote location, such as their home, and their workplace. However you consider embracing flexibility, you may need to have different arrangements depending on role and employee needs. Steps towards flexibility could support higher levels of job satisfaction, thereby eliciting loyalty, dedication, and, ultimately, performance.
- Foster a supportive culture and encourage open communication. Be accessible when it comes to adjusting deadlines or delegating tasks to others if you notice employees are struggling with their current workload.
- Family-friendly benefits are becoming increasingly popular as businesses seek to adopt an inclusive and diverse workplace. Benefits that support employees through all life stages can be presented such as enhanced parental leave and affordable healthcare for the whole family.
- Encourage work-life balance by supporting a lunch break away from the desk and prompting employees to take their well-earned annual leave. Discouraging presenteeism and out of hours correspondence is a good start to ensuring your workforce enjoys a healthy work-life balance.
- Lastly, don’t forget employees’ statutory right to take reasonable unpaid time off from work to take necessary action in respect of dependants (child, grandchild, spouse/partner or parent). The statutory right does not apply to planned time off to care for dependants; for example, to take them to a planned medical appointment. However, an employee may be entitled to time off to provide assistance where a dependant falls ill or their care arrangements are unexpectedly disrupted.
However you support your employees, a flexible and supportive culture can promote a diverse, loyal, and trusted workforce. For more information, please contact the Employment team.
Check out our upcoming Acuity Law Wellbeing at Work Conference here.