Family Responsibility & Flexible Working
Flexible working has made an impact on anyone in a position of care.
According to recent BBC research (September), over half (56%) of women surveyed said they thought working from home would help them progress at work, as childcare responsibility becomes less of an obstacle to working full-time.
In September, the government proposed to allow all UK employees, from their first day of work, the ability to request a flexible working arrangement.
However, is progression and responsibility gender specific? Jaime Rana, Senior Recruitment Consultant says, “There is a much wider impact on families. The niche isn’t just for women, it’s men too. For a recent national account manager role, from talking to a male candidate they stipulated they wanted the role to work around family obligations. If the job spec didn’t incorporate this, they were not interested.”
Rob Bruce, Senior Recruitment Consultant shares from his own perspective. “Flexible working has created balance. Why should there be any difference between me wanting to take my children to school and just be assumed it should be the role of my wife? For many fathers’, it is something we want to do and the school drop-off and pick-up becomes a part of our day. I even look forward to it. I want to be a great father and husband as well as support my family.”
In June 2021 a report by Working Families, highlighted that 40% of working parents said that during the pandemic, caring responsibilities such as childcare and housework were shared more equally than before. 35% say they intend to keep it up post-pandemic.
Hannah Sills, TeamJobs Managing Director, highlights the expectations from both employers and candidates, “The Working Families report highlights that social expectations have changed. Partners have become aware that they can have flexibility. For instance, before 2020, a male asking for flexible working arrangements almost had a certain stigma attached to it. People just didn’t ask. Employers then recognised that flexibility could work, more than they had ever done.”
Flexible working is so much more than one person taking responsibility for homelife it has become a shared decision for partners and families across the UK. From working with candidates, clients and even from a company perspective the benefits are evident from improved wellbeing, a healthier work-life balance and also productivity within the working week.