A massive 71% of working mothers have had their request for furlough denied. Further to that, 78% of working parents have not been offered furlough by their employers at all (Trades Union Congress). So it is not surprising but it is worrying to hear that 90% of working Mum’s report increased anxiety and stress in this lockdown. 1 in 4 mums are worried they will lose their job as a result of childcare difficulties (Trades Union Congress).
It begs the question, are medium to large-sized businesses who have the resources and finances available, really doing enough to support their working parents and stop employee burnout?
Here are 5 ways that businesses can support their employees who have childcare responsibilities:
1) Offer flexible working patterns. Parents need time to care for their children in any working day. And it is not just homeschooling that children demand, they also need exercise, fresh air, nutritious meals and someone to play games with!
2) Educate employees on the support that is available to them. Provide information to your workforce so that they are aware of the help that is available, do not hide it. Share information such as furlough schemes for workers and shared parental leave for new parents.
3) Family friendly policies for all genders and employment status. Zurich, Google and Microsoft are just a few of the organisations giving working parents extended paid leave during the pandemic, some have offered up to an additional 14 weeks.
4) Access to support for coping with stress. Ensure workers have access to psychosocial services. Think about coaching and mentoring services as a first step. Employers need to look after the mental health of their staff.
5) Financial support for childcare. UNICEF has urged businesses to ‘support parents with safe, accessible and affordable quality childcare options’. PWC have offered a back-up childcare allowance of $2k per month whilst schools are shut.
GrandNanny is working with businesses who, whilst unable to offer furlough to staff, can offer financial support for childcare. Having a nanny in your home complies with current Government guidelines and we can provide guidance on a COVID-19 risk assessment for your home. We offer flexible and local childcare with male and female nannies that have years of childcare experience.
“Children around the world need support from their parents right now. And parents need support from their employers” – UnicefThis is a chance for employers to differentiate themselves and grow their reputation for having a great supportive culture. The pandemic has had a regressive effect on gender equality in the workplace, a McKinsey & Company report found that 1 in 4 women are considering downshifting their careers or leaving the workforce entirely because of the impact of Covid – 19. Corporates have a social responsibility to stop this trend, to keep women not only in the workplace but also so that they can progress to senior roles.
GrandNanny urges businesses to make bold and innovative steps right now to support their working families before they reach burnout. If you‘re an employer and want to help your employees, then get in touch with us to discuss how we can support you. If you are an employee and wondering what you can do to change the status quo then the quickest option is to forward this list to your Human Resources or People Department.