Firms fail to promote family-friendly policies

Up to half the workforce is unaware of the work-life balance policies their
companies offer, suggests research.

A study by the Joseph Rowntree Foundation at six large employers in
Sheffield and Canterbury shows that staff often do not know about the policies
open to them.

The research into local government, supermarket and retail banking, carried
out by Sheffield Hallam and City Universities, found a lack of staff awareness,
training, guidance and consultation about work-life issues.

Managers claim demanding service delivery targets mean it is difficult to
agree to unpaid leave and other requests for flexibility.

The research found that one in five employees cares for a dependent adult
and one in three cares for children.

Sue Yeandle, co-author of the study, said: "Employers should clearly be
doing more to raise awareness of their family-friendly policies among the

"The need for better training as identified by many managers, is in how
to implement those policies fairly, another area that needs to be

A separate Joseph Rowntree Foundation report finds the majority of
dual-income families have one or both parents working outside normal nine to
five hours.

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