One in six (17%) working parents in Yorkshire and the Humber works at least six weeks a year in unpaid overtime and many miss out on precious family moments like attending school shows or simply putting their children to bed because of work commitments (1).
Working Families, the UK’s leading work-life balance organisation, is encouraging parents and their employers to take part in Go Home On Time Day today (Oct 5), to help people improve their work-life balance.
Sarah Jackson, chief executive of Working Families, said: “Sadly the notion of presenteeism persists in many businesses in Yorkshire and the Humber with many working parents feeling pressure to work extra unpaid hours.
“Families need time as well as money to thrive. Flexible working patterns can give parents the balance they need between work and family life, and deliver motivated, productive employees for businesses. But this only works if jobs are designed properly – and can be done in the hours allocated to them.
“We’re encouraging all employers and employees to use Go Home On Time Day as an opportunity to think how they can improve work-life balance and get the best for families and businesses in Yorkshire and the Humber.”
Working Families hopes businesses and employers, including the public sector and Government, will use its ‘happy to talk flexible working’ strapline in recruitment processes to demonstrate commitment to flexible and family friendly ways of working (2).
A survey for the charity showed nearly half (48%) of working parents in Yorkshire and the Humber put extra unpaid hours each week. Of those, 17% worked more than five extra unpaid hours a week, equating to 31 extra days a year – more than most people’s annual leave entitlement.
The survey also revealed:
- Three quarters (72%) of working parents in Yorkshire and the Humber said their job interfered with their ability to take part in school or nursery milestones for their children, such as attending performances or parents’ evenings.
- More than half (58%) said work detrimentally affected the time they had to help children with homework
- More than half (54%) said it interfered with their ability to put their children to bed. A fifth (19%) said this happened more than three times a week.
Working Families is the UK’s leading work-life balance organisation. It offers a free Legal Helpline to parents and carers, researches and campaigns for better work-life policies and works directly with employers to help them improve ways of working. For more information visit workingfamilies.org.uk