To mark National Work Life Week, charity Fegans is calling for employers to consider the wellbeing benefits of flexible working for their staff, and launching a parent survey to find the most family-friendly work-places in the UK.
Working with families in the community, Fegans is all too familiar with the pressures working parents face on their time, and the guilt they experience when trying to balance work and home. In fact according to the Modern Families Index 2019, almost half of parents say that work gets in the way of spending time with their children.
Ian Soars is Fegans CEO and also a parent support worker who sees first-hand how precious every minute is to families:
“The evidence from parenting experts, psychologists and therapists shows that spending time with your child is key to building a better relationship. I think it is time that as a culture we began to value time with our children a great more than we do at present. Employers offering flexible working is a powerful statement of intent about how we prioritise family without questioning an employee’s commitment to their work.”
National Work Life Week runs 7 to 11 October. According to the Modern Families Index 2019:
· 60% of parents have to work extra hours to keep on top of their workload
· Almost half of parents (47%) say that work gets in the way of spending time with their children
· 86% of parents want to work flexibly, but less than half (49%) actually do
· Working flexibly was associated with a 5% increase in satisfaction with work life fit, whilst being able to take time off for childcare caused a 10% increase.
This week Fegans has launched a survey to find out which employers have the most flexible and family-friendly policies. The survey can be completed from its parenting website www.DAD.info and the results will be shared to help promote the benefits of flexible working.
Fegans itself is an example of an organisation which offers flexible working hours to its own employees, as Ian explains:
“At Fegans we have a strong culture of flexible working. In fact over 95 per cent of our staff are highly-valued part time members of staff and many are in term-time only roles. They organise their working hours around childcare and family responsibilities, sometimes working from our offices and sometimes at home, thanks to technology.
“I have long believed in the huge returns flexible working brings to both employee and employer in terms of morale, retention and commitment. Our staff know they are valued and trusted and that their personal wellbeing is important to us.”
Working parents who would like to find out more about flexible working can visit www.workingfamilies.org for further advice including a template statutory flexible working request letter.