During the pandemic, working parents have held a uniquely challenging role; trying to meet the demands of their jobs while caring for children, homeschooling and managing regularly changing restrictions and guidance for their family. Wates has partnered with Working families’ #FlexTheUK campaign, which aims to drive national conversations about flexible working and to ‘build back better’ for working parents.
#FlextheUK highlights how attitudes have changed over the last 18 months with regards to flexible working.
New research published today points to mixed experiences among working parents, with the majority feeling supported by their employer. However, one in five (19%) say received no support from their employer to manage the challenges of being a parent during the pandemic. The research suggests that flexible working should be prioritised to ‘build back better’ from the pandemic.
The #FlexTheUK campaign calls for:
- Employers to design and advertise jobs as flexible, and actively encourage flexible working as a way of supporting working parents and enhance wellbeing.
- Government to bring forward the new Employment Bill in 2022 and include a duty on employers to make jobs flexible unless there is a business case not to; and take action against insecure employment practices.
David Allen, Chief Executive of Wates Group, campaign partner for #FlexTheUK, said:
“As a family business Wates is committed to doing everything we can to help colleagues balance their parenting or caring commitments with work. It’s why we were so keen to be involved in the #FlextheUK campaign. In our recent employee survey, 40% of respondents identified as being parents or having caring responsibilities. They told us overwhelmingly that they want the flexibility to manage where and when they work.
“We’ve listened and have responded by producing a set of flexible working principles. They combine some of the positive adaptations we’ve made over the last 15 months and the good habits which have allowed us to collaborate and perform so well in the past. We’re encouraging colleagues right across the business to use the next few months to experiment with different working patterns: to find what works for them; to show us what they want their working life to be like in the future; and to use these new flexibilities to enable our teams to perform at their very best.”