Voice of the Employee

New research by MHR International, the HR, payroll, and analytics expert, shows one-in-three working parents (33%) have lied to their boss about how they are coping with the balance between home-schooling and work during the current lockdown.

The poll of 1,060 respondents found many parents are under severe pressure, with 42% reporting their employer has failed to offer flexible working options to ease the burden of home-schooling. These findings come after the Government recently updated its guidance on which employees can access the furlough scheme, last week announcing that employers can choose to furlough employees to enable them to homeschool their children while covid restrictions require schools to close.

Nearly a quarter (23%) have not felt confident enough to ask or have not considered asking for greater flexibility so they can educate their children as well as doing their job. 13% of respondents have had to take unpaid leave in order to support their children with home learning.

With schools closed until February half-term, except for vulnerable children and the children of critical workers, parents are once more having to balance work with home schooling.

“Yet again parents across the country are facing the nightmare of juggling work with home-schooling requirements” said Dawn Brown, HR expert at MHR. “As our poll shows, large numbers of working parents have very little support and are under a lot of pressure to deliver on all sides.

“For some, particularly those with younger children, this is an incredibly difficult time. Naturally they want to support their children, but they also know that they have a day job and are incredibly torn as to what they do.

“Compassionate employers must take the time to listen to their employees, through regular check-ins to understand who may be at risk of burnout or mental health issues as they try to juggle all of their responsibilities. Solutions such as flexitime or compressed hours to allow parents the necessary time to home school and avoid the guilt factor can be considered. No two families are alike and a flexible mindset based on real understanding of how employees can be supported is required on the part of the employers to make this incredibly difficult time manageable.”

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