A new coalition has been launched to lobby business and the Government to
provide better support for parents and carers.
Co-ordinated by the Equal Opportunities Commission (EOC), the Parents’ and
Carers’ Coalition is calling for wider access to flexible working for all women
and men, improved childcare access and better support services for carers.
A survey by the coalition reveals that almost four in 10 mothers, more than
one in 10 fathers and almost one in five carers have either given up or turned
down a job because of their caring responsibilities.
However, a recent Department of Trade and Industry survey shows that
employers have much to gain from providing flexible working practices.
Those companies offering more than the statutory minimum of leave reported a
49 per cent increase in productivity, 48 per cent reduction in absenteeism and
47 per cent improvement in recruitment.
"As some employers have already discovered, they have much to gain from
using flexible working to meet the growing demand for facilities and services
24 hours a day, as well as meeting their employees’ needs," said Julie
Mellor, chair of the EOC.
The coalition’s research found that 83 per cent of people in the UK believe
all professionals should have the right to request flexible working to care for
a child, or an elderly or disabled relative or friend.