As businesses prepare for the return to office, insufficient childcare has emerged as a major roadblock to hybrid working. With the temporary and permanent closure of childcare facilities across the country, reliable childcare has become both increasingly costly and difficult to find.
For UK companies grappling with severe labour shortages, inadequate family support is proving harmful to both parents and employers. At the onset of the summer holiday break, we collected feedback from the experts in this area – working parents themselves. Their stories are a stark reminder of the challenges working mums and dads face when considering job opportunities.
83% of parents surveyed agreed having access to more affordable flexible childcare options would make their summer childcare worries disappear, followed by improved employer support. Roughly 1 in 4 parents entered into the holiday break without any annual leave left, having to reduce their work hours in order to cover their childcare needs.
By providing targeted support to working parents employers also stand to benefit. The business implications of having inadequate support on job satisfaction, DEI, and productivity is increasingly well documented. Access to on-demand childcare can have an immediate, tangible impact on businesses’ bottom line, reducing childcare-related absenteeism and improving job attractiveness. With improved work-life balance, the risk of staff turnover and associated costs of burnout are significantly reduced.
Employer-subsidised childcare is furthermore pivotal to ensuring that women have a fair chance at rising to the executive level. In a large-scale survey conducted by Pregnant Then Screwed, nearly one in two working mums made redundant last year cited childcare issues as a key factor.
The time is now for business leaders to make family support an organisational priority. Here at Bubble we’re really keen on helping companies address this problem by supporting their working parents – you can check out our ‘The ROI of a Family Support Programme’ whitepaper for more information.
Source: Bubble x That Works For Me Managing The School Holidays Survey, August 2021