Join or find out more
Become a member
Tel: {{healthcare_number}} Tel: 0800 414 8001

8am-8pm, Mon-Thurs
8am-5pm Fri 

Accessing services - Members
Tel: {{}} Tel: 0800 414 8100

8am to 8pm, Mon-Fri

Member helplines
(For existing members)
24/7 GP Helpline
Tel: {{}} Tel: 0800 414 8247
Mental Health Helpline
Tel: {{}} Tel: 0800 414 8247

Open 24 hours, 7 days a week

Business enquiries
Find out more

For Business

Request a call back

Business enquires 

Submit your details


Why should you consider the needs of your employees with family and caring commitments?

To help businesses understand the challenges faced by employees who have family and caring commitments, we conducted research across a range of sectors and age groups.

Our insightful guide explores the issue, here are four reasons why you should take a look:

It’s a growing issue

Over three million people in the UK now juggle caring commitments (for elderly or sick loved ones) with work, and the number of employed mothers with dependent children in England has surged by over a million in the past two decades, meaning almost three quarters of mothers work part-time or full-time. 

It’s costing employers money

Respondents take an average of 5.3 days off work a year due to family reasons (not including maternity or paternity leave) – which is higher than the UK average amount of sick days! Based on the UK average salary in 2017 by Office of National Statistics, this equates to a cost of £6181 in lost time for every employee with caring commitments.

It can affect employee retention

In fact, 22.4% of respondents say they’ve considered leaving their job due to a lack of flexibility and support from their employer over their family care commitments.

It could affect employee productivity

64.1% of employees surveyed in our report said they suffer from stress as a result of balancing their work and caring commitments. Furthermore, 41.3% of respondents experienced financial problems, and 26.7% had experienced mental health issues.

Employees suffering with these issues may find it difficult to perform at their best when at work, making the prevalence of these issues a problem for employers.

How should employers tackle the problem?

In order to keep engaged employees, and prevent avoidable costs through absenteeism, staff turnover and reduced productivity, companies should take time to understand their workers’ circumstances, and see how they could adopt a more accommodating and supportive culture.

One respondent we interviewed illustrated how this can pay off for employers:

A lot of people commit their whole careers to this company, it’s a business that really has long term servants, so providing flexible working hours and conditions is a core tenet of their employment strategy.”


Read our employer’s guide to Supporting employees with family and caring commitments to find out more about the implications for employees and pick up some strategic tips on how you could better support them.

If your company has recently implemented initiatives to support and accommodate employees with caring commitments, share your tips and success stories with us on Twitter or LinkedIn using #workingfamilies



1 Calculation based on the 2017 ONS average salary of £29,009 with 252 working days (with 20 days holiday).