31% of parents are not offered flexible working

Almost a third (31%) of respondents reported their employer does not offer flexible-working arrangements, according to research by charity Working Families.

Its Time, health and the family research, which surveyed 1,037 male and female parents in full-time or part-time work and is sponsored by Bright Horizons, found that the education, retail and healthcare sectors were most likely not to offer flexible working.

Over a third (36%) of working parents said that they are more stressed than they were a year ago, while 44% said their stress levels have stayed the same. Just 15% reported a lowering of work-related stress year on year.

The research also found:

  • Young fathers aged 26 to 35 are most resentful towards employers about their work-life balance.
  • 47% of respondents felt their working life was becoming stressful.
  • 40% of respondents found work impinged on their family life.

Sarah Jackson, chief executive of Working Families, said: “I am struck by how many parents told us that flexible working is not available in their workplace.

“Over 90% of UK organisations say they offer at least one form of flexible working, so we must conclude that employers need to improve their communication about the possible options.

“What’s not known about, won’t be asked for. If resentment builds up about lack of flexibility, performance will suffer.”