Parents facing second lockdown fear for their careers

A study of 1,500 UK parents finds a third are worried about the pandemic’s negative impact on their prospects and job stability. The latest lockdowns are likely to heighten their anxiety.

Work life balance laptop and toys
The research, carried out by Public First for chartered accountants Theta Global Advisors, finds 64% of British people surveyed feel parents have been hardest hit by the pandemic due to having to work, take care of and teach their children simultaneously.Almost a third (28%) of parents responding also say having to take care of their child during the coronavirus pandemic has set their career back more than a year. Adding to working parents’ stress, a significant minority (28%) report their employer has been unsympathetic at their need to manage childcare around work during the Covid-19 pandemic. The finding suggests that the apparent progress around wider acceptance of flexible remote working is yet to be embedded in a large number of organisations.

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Balancing competing priorities

The research also looked into working parents’ dilemmas around the return to school after the autumn half-term break, and how to best balance their child’s wellbeing with work responsibilities.
Around a quarter (27%) were actively worried about keeping their jobs if their child was not able to return to school after half-term."With the second lockdown being announced over the weekend, millions of working parents now face having to choose between their child's safety and their career,” says Chris Biggs, Partner at Theta Global Advisors. 

Sharing experiences and honest conversations

The challenges around managing workloads and parental responsibilities as younger family members distance-learn, are at schools that are adopting hybrid approaches or continue as normal with extra safeguards and contingencies is one of the topics being explored at Relocate Global’s Great International Education & Schools Fair.Kicking of a month of virtual school tours, guest speakers, content, panel and community discussions to share and improve the experiences of every family member on the move during and after the global pandemic, yesterday’s opening session on options for families relocating saw education experts and parents address this issue and offer top tips. Among them is the need to reach out to others in similar situations and the importance of community.

Finding middle ground

At work, Chris Briggs recommends honest conversations with line managers. “This period has been and will continue to be incredibly disruptive to parents and children alike. Employers need to recognise that working guardians are being stretched further and thinner than ever before.“If you are struggling to balance work and home life, especially during a second national lockdown, have a conversation with your manager and put in place workable deadlines that work for you and your employer.“Many of my team can actually work more effectively after 7 pm when they've settled their children down for the night so they can just focus on work, meaning that neither their work or home life suffer while the kids are at home.“Try and be as accommodating with your boss as possible and all being well, they should demonstrate the same willingness back."

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