34% returned to previous employer for better work-life balance

A third (34%) of UK employees have returned to a previous employer within the past five years or plan to do so in the near future to obtain a better work-life balance, according to research by employee benefits provider Unum UK.

Its research also found that a quarter (25%) of respondents have, or plan to, return to a previous employer for a higher salary, 19% for flexible or hybrid working options,18% for better employee benefits and 14% for better environment, social and governance commitments.

Among those who had returned to a previous employer within the past five years, 87% said they would return to another former employer in the future, with 33% saying they would do so for a higher salary, and 28% saying they would move for a better benefits package.

One-third (35%) who boomeranged to a previous employer within the last five years were from London, compared to just 8% who were from the east of England.

The research also found that of those who have both child- and eldercare responsibilties, 59% felt their employer understands their needs regarding this well. Despite this, 35% said their mental health has suffered, 29% found the situation a financial struggle and 24% have taken time of work as a result of their caring responsibilities.

Where organisations offered support to this group, 39% of respondents said they were offered flexible-working arrangements, 28% had the option to work remotely when required, 24% could access emergency paid leave to care for ill dependents and 24% were offered support through an employee assistance programme (EAP). However, 21% of respondents said their employer did not offer any such support.

Glenn Thompson, chief distribution officer at Unum UK, said: “With a very tight labour market, employers must understand these factors and offer what employees need to be tempted back, given rehiring an old employee can potentially be more efficient than training someone who’s brand new to the business.”