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Benenden Health finds employers need to do more to support families

19th October 2018

People with family commitments are being failed by their employers. This is according to research in a new Benenden Health report. The research from Your guide to supporting employees with family and caring commitments found that three in four employees in the UK struggle to balance their family commitments and their jobs. Family commitments not only include childcare but also caring responsibilities for older relatives.

The pressure of caring is a problem on the increase. The issue stems from the rise of the 'squeezed middle' (those who care for both their children and older relatives). This is now part of modern day family life for many. UK working culture must adapt to support these employees. The report found that respondents aged 36 to 40 find it most difficult balancing their family commitments with work. A shocking 77% describe it as a frequent struggle.

Businesses need to do more to support hard-working employees. Our guide shows that working from home, flexible hours and access to mental health support can all have a big impact. Employee case studies within the research undertaken highlighted many issues in this area.

One is that requests for support or flexibility are often down to the individual prejudices of the line manager. In some cases, line managers are truly empathetic to an employee's family commitments. In others, accessing flexible working or support can feel insurmountable.

Benenden Health's Chief Commercial Officer, Helen Smith, says employers should be open to new ways of working. She explains: “It’s important we understand the unique needs of employees and the benefits of creating a more compassionate working environment". Helen added that this approach fosters "loyal, less stressed and likely more productive employees.”

To learn more visit “Your guide to supporting employees with family and caring commitments”. This is the latest in a series of guides for employers that Benenden Health has produced. 

Learn more about Benenden Health’s business healthcare services.