Derek Bishop


Resenting the parental workload

Date added: 11th Aug 2014
Category: Employee Engagement

It’s a tough life being a working parent.  The government may be trying to help parents to manage their work-life balance with flexi-hours and parental leave but in some ways that only serves to exacerbate the image that those without children have to work extra to carry the workload of colleagues with kids.

Now a survey by AXA PPP Healthcare has revealed that far from contributing less to the working day, those with children actually work more to compensate for this perceived imbalance.  Statistics from the survey include:

  • 43% of parents feel guilty if they leave on time whilst just 29% of childless colleagues feel the same guilt
  • 55% of parents work more than 4 hours per week overtime compared with 39% of colleagues without children
  • 42% of parents log in at weekends whilst just 32% of their colleagues do the same

The reason for this extra work seems to be partly due to pressure from colleagues and line managers who are concerned that parents are ‘getting away with’ some form of shortened hours.  Commenting on the results Mark Winwood, Director of psychological services at AXA PPP Healthcare said “it’s not surprising that a fifth of parents with kids at home confirm that they’ve been diagnosed with a mental health condition such as stress, anxiety or depression” adding “it’s also important to build a positive workplace culture that celebrates the benefits of diversity and the valuable contribution that people with caring responsibilities can – and do – make to the business’ success.”

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