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January is a peak time for couples to separate or divorce, but few employers have sufficient measures in place to support staff going through this difficult time, says Rayner Grice.
British businesses are suffering as a result of divorce and separation: this was the headline finding of research carried out at the end of 2014 by Resolution, a national organisation of family lawyers committed to non-confrontational divorce and separation.
According to the survey, one individual in 10 going through a separation has had to leave their job after a split or know of a colleague who has.
Furthermore, 16% of respondents have seen their workplace hit by sick leave following the stress of a break-up and 15% say that separation or divorce has a negative impact on productivity.
January is the month when family lawyers see a stark increase in enquiries from couples seeking advice on divorce or separation. This applies to those that are cohabiting as well as married.
Sadly, the pressures of the festive season, both in terms of financial strains and emotional tensions, exacerbate underlying difficulties in struggling relationships.
The Office for National Statistics recorded around 118,000 divorces per year in England and Wales in 2011 and 2012. But while the number of divorces remains stable, this rate needs to be viewed against a decline in the number of marriages and an increase in the number of couples who choose to cohabit.
Loss of productivity
Regardless of the legal status of the relationships, their breakdown has a strong impact on productivity within the British workplace.
It is estimated that divorce costs the British economy up to £46 billion every