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Help for Young Parents

By: Jeff Durham - Updated: 27 Nov 2012 | comments*Discuss
 
Childcare Issues Childcare Issues

Workers face pressures at the best of times but when you’re also bringing up young children it can be particularly demanding to juggle both Family and Work Commitments. This is even truer if both parents go out to work which many have to do these days.

Some Facts

It’s estimated that around 40% of all employees have dependent children and that 25% of women return to work full-time within a year after having a baby. For employers, it’s reckoned to cost, on average, £4300 to recruit and train a person to fill a vacancy which is one very good reason why employers should be looking at ways in which they can help to ease the burden for parents of young children who work for them.

Effects on Employers

There are many knock-on effects for employers when a worker chooses to leave a company because they’re unable to cope with bringing up a newborn and the demands of work at the same time and the majority of people who choose to leave, usually women, cite childcare issues as the main reason. Employers then have to bear the fallout from that as mentioned above in terms of the cost of recruiting and training a new member of staff. However, it doesn’t just have financial implications. Many employers point to a dip in Staff Morale when a valued member of staff is lost. Even those workers who choose to return to work after giving birth experience more problems with absenteeism as they attempt to settle back into their jobs but have to also contend with their children’s needs which, naturally, are often put first.

What Can Employers Do to Help?

In order to retain the skills of an experienced worker when they have childcare responsibilities, employers must seek to devise ways in which they can assist parents in combining both their jobs and family commitments more easily. Companies should be looking to see if they can introduce Flexible Working. For example, they may be able to consider different shift patterns (flexi-time) which fit into the lifestyle of a parent or perhaps even consider them working from home on a part or full-time basis if that will alleviate pressure. So many jobs can be done remotely these days with advancements in IT and telecommunications, so much so that many jobs can be done entirely at home without any need to come into the office.

Everybody’s needs are different and it’s important that employers speak to parents and try to come up with any ideas for making life easier for them in order that they don’t end up quitting the job due to unmanageable pressures. This flexibility should also be extended to fathers as well as mothers as bringing up a family is a dual role and one in which a father’s input is equally as important to a mother’s. Workers should be trained to cover different job roles so as to lessen the impact on a company’s business if members of staff take time off to attend to their children’s needs, as opposed to it causing a major upheaval.

Employers should also be willing to educate their staff in things like the tax-credit system which can help workers with children financially and may also want to consider things like contributing to childcare costs or even making provisions for an on-site crèche.

Therefore, this all demonstrates the importance of companies taking the issues of a worker with a newborn or with young children very seriously if they want to keep hold of their best people which, in turn, means that the company itself remains prosperous and successful.

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