Skip to main content

Parenting responsibilities contribute to a significant number of work absences per year.  Many parents struggle to balance their family obligations with their work schedules.  Torn between their occupational and family obligations, this struggle can cause stress to staff and contribute to absenteeism and a high staff turnover rate.

Knowing employee rights and the UK law can be helpful for employees and businesses alike.  For example, working parents are entitled to paid and unpaid maternity leave, paid paternity leave, unpaid time for unexpected problems involving the care of dependents, shared leave and pay, and unpaid leave for parents of children under the age of 18. Parents also have the right to request flexible working hours which will be discussed in greater detail below.

Flexible Hours

Simple changes and adjustments to work schedules such as creating flexible hours can boost morale and increase an employee’s commitment to their duties and company loyalty.  Where possible, research indicates that flexible hours should be considered.

Having flexible working hours has shown a number of positive results in a 2012 CIPD survey on flexible working.  75% of employers surveyed feel that it helps to contribute to staff retention.  72% feels that it leads to increased levels of employee engagement and 73% report that it increases staff motivation.

Barriers to Flexible Working and the UK Law

There are barriers to flexible working, including the nature of the work being done, the attitudes of senior and line managers and supervisors and the limited relevance flexible working has to an industry.  Though flexible hours aren’t suitable for every employee, it is under UK law that employees have the right to ask to work flexibly so that they can better address their parenting responsibilities.

For parents, family obligations may interfere with their typical working schedule.  To ease the transition back to work, improve employee morale and reduce turnover rate, it may be worth it for companies to consider a policy that allows for flexible hours.  This is a part of understanding and addressing the causes of absence within a business.

To discuss this issue of parenting responsibilities or to find out more about Holiday Scheduler, contact MTIS today.