Banks showing deficit in work-life balance offers

Banking and insurance are trailing behind other sectors in offering staff a chance to balance their working life with their home life.

Early findings of a survey by the Department for Education and Employment shows that only 60 per cent of banks and insurance companies offer part-time working compared with 76 per cent across business as a whole.

Forty per cent are unlikely to allow staff to move from full-time to part-time working. The figure for other sectors is 19 per cent.

Speaking at a conference hosted by the Chartered Institute of Bankers, employment and equal opportunities minister Margaret Hodge said virtually all employers in the sector understand the importance of helping staff achieve a work-life balance.

But she added that 14 per cent do not consider it their responsibility. She said, “While there are parts of the banking sector which are making progress, others need to do much more.

“This is particularly true for childcare. Only 12 per cent of all employers provide even the barest information about local childcare provision. And only 3 per cent in banking and insurance provide that information.”

Peter Ellwood, chairman of Employers for Work-Life Balance and chief executive of Lloyds TSB Group said, “Changes in working life have profound implications for employers, in terms of service delivery and recruiting and retaining high-quality staff.

“The organisations in our alliance recognise that if we are to be employers of choice we need to help our staff balance work with the rest of their lives.”

The study was carried out by the Institute for Employment Research based at the University of Warwick.

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