Work-life balance for everyone is vital

I read your story ‘Women suffering as flexibility breeds workplace resentment’ (News, Personnel Today, 5 July) with much interest.

I am a senior HR adviser. I haven’t worked full-time for 16 years, following the birth of my first child in 1989.

I would agree that there is some resentment among employees who do not benefit from flexible working arrangements, and I believe that the only way forward is to encourage more employers to adopt flexible working benefits for all staff. After all, everyone is entitled to a proper work-life balance, not just parents of young children.

I often take unpaid statutory parental leave during the school holidays when my workload is much lighter, but if I worked anywhere else, or for a smaller employer, I would probably feel very guilty about doing this. No wonder so few employees actually take their full statutory parental leave entitlement.

Until employers start to move towards a management culture that offers a real work-life balance for all employees, working mothers will continue to feel disillusioned about their working environment and will either resign or take a demotion to spend more time with their families.

Alison Curtis
Senior HR adviser
Hounslow Council

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