Two in five working parents are looking to switch jobs this year in pursuit of higher pay and more support for family life.
This is according to the latest annual Modern Families Index by childcare provider Bright Horizons, which revealed a growing disconnect between the support parents want from their employers and the help currently on offer.
Forty-two per cent of parents said they were looking for new work in 2024, an increase of 4% on the figure for 2023.
In the case of a promotion or new job, 80% of women and 76% of men said they would need to consider their childcare options before accepting the offer.
Modern Families Index 2024
Three in 10 wanted more help with childcare costs and nearly four in 10 wanted their employer to provide more support for the rising cost of living.
Sixty-seven per cent said they took four days off at short notice in the past 12 months to care for family members. Thirty-two per cent who needed to take emergency time off needed five or more days over the past year.
Mothers were more likely than fathers to report feeling less able to progress in their careers while working flexibly. Only 63% of women felt they could progress, versus 71% of men.
The government has tried to alleviate childcare pressures on parents by expanding access to free childcare hours, but recent research found only one in 10 parents had been able to obtain government-generated codes to claim them.
Jennifer Liston-Smith, head of thought leadership at Bright Horizons, said the results of the Modern Families Index showed supporting working parents should be at the heart of employers’ strategies to retain and recruit staff.
“With higher living costs and more companies urging employees back to the workplace, employers need to be moving forwards, not backwards in enabling employees to combine their career with family life. The imbalances in expectation and reality need to be addressed and employers need to be supporting employees from all angles,” she said.
“The ability to use annual leave for rest and recuperation as well as building family memories together is critical, and it’s concerning to see so many working parents and carers resorting to using up their annual leave at short notice to manage child and elder care arrangements.”