28% take time off for caring responsibilities

Working father-flexible working-2015More than a quarter (28%) of respondents take time off work or work irregular hours to care for a family member, according to research by Willis PMI Group.

The study, which is based on responses from 582 adults aged between 16 and 64 who are currently in full or part-time employment, also found that almost a third (30%) take sick leave to carry out their caring responsibilities.

The research also found:

  • 29% of respondents use their annual holiday allowance to carry out their caring responsibilities.
  • Less than half (42%) of respondents are aware of their entitlement to request flexible working under new legislation, which is applicable to all staff with 26 weeks of service or more.
  • 42% believe their employer would accept a request for flexible working.

Mike Blake, director of Willis PMI Group, said: “Although employees have a legal right to take time off to deal with emergencies involving dependants, those having to juggle work with ongoing caring responsibilities can feel under considerable pressure and may even be forced to give up work.

“There is a strong business case for offering flexible working options, with such provisions improving productivity and cutting costs by reducing staff turnover and absenteeism.

“Family life demands can be extremely challenging and faced with an ageing population, eldercare responsibilities are set to rise. The workplace will need to keep pace to ensure the health, wellbeing and motivation of staff is not compromised.”