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childcare voucher scheme is also very helpful and, if it is within the realm of possibility, so is onsite childcare. An emerging trend of companies having onsite crèches to allow employees a better work-life balance and fewer childcare-related problems is proving prevalent, with organisations such as Goldman Sachs and Addison Lee leading the way.4


Of course, this is


an expensive and time-consuming commitment to make, but it can be a fundamental aid to working parents, where companies can make it happen.


Parents of disabled and ill children


Tere are 770,000 children with disabilities in the UK – that’s one in every 20. As well as requiring more medical attention and regular appointments, research has found that it costs parents up to three times more to raise a disabled child.5


Tis means that parents not


only have many more logistical requirements to meet, but are more likely to face financial problems. Te time management issues


can be alleviated by offering flexible working conditions. Allowing parents to make up hours remotely when they have to attend appointments or their children are in treatment gives the peace of mind that both work and family commitments are being met. Employers can help to ease the financial burden by offering incentive schemes that reward monetary bonuses or appropriate vouchers.


Not all dependants are children


One of the many changes to have oc- curred in this dramatic shift of family dynamic is the face of dependants and caregivers. Employers must move past the misconception that dependants are biological children. Now more than ever, people of all ages are primary caregivers for other family members, like elderly parents and disabled siblings. Today in the UK, more than 6 million people provide unpaid care for disabled people, meaning they have to fit this commitment into an already busy working life.6


Having


dependants whose needs are unpre- dictable at the best of times means that employees who are also carers could benefit from the possibility of flexible working hours or working


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from home if the occasion calls for it. Incentive schemes that offer both monetary rewards and vouchers can also be helpful for those caring.


In case of emergency


Being the caregiver for children or disabled dependants is difficult and can result in plenty of unexpected struggles, but a lot of employers (and parents) don’t tend to plan for parents having to take leave for a sudden illness or





up work should family circumstances call for it; 51% of females felt they would have to quit working in the case of their child becoming seriously ill or injured, whereas only 36% of males felt the same.9 Tis is damaging to company


employee retention figures as well as to the stability of working families, so employers need to take steps to help mothers stay in work even during difficult situations. Offering flexible


In the UK, 2.9 million families are lone-parent, making them the third most common family type


injury. Although uncommon, accidents or illnesses take a toll on family life, and create pressures at work. Not only do finances suffer, but also colleagues scramble to cover the additional workload, while parents take time off. One solution is to consider a


low-cost insurance policy that pays out a year’s worth of salary to an employee in the event of a child becoming seriously ill or injured.7


By


offering such a scheme as a voluntary benefit, the employer is providing a family friendly insurance product that chimes with financial wellness.


Keeping Mum


Although the prevalence of mothers in employment has grown exponentially over the decades, with around 75% of mothers currently working,8 studies have found that mothers are far more likely than fathers to give


working conditions, job sharing, remote working and maybe insurance can support parents through difficult times while ensuring they still bring home a salary and that employers don’t face such disruption when unforeseen circumstances occur. While there are many measures


employers can take to make their policies more family friendly, the attitude towards employees is key. It is unreasonable to make employees feel guilty or uncommitted for taking advantage of new family friendly approaches. Tis sort of treatment will only have a detrimental effect on employee performance and loyalty. At the core of a family friendly


workplace is a prevalent family friendly attitude: one of understanding, compassion and support. Only when employees feel truly supported by their managers and colleagues will they feel truly empowered by family friendly policy.


Max Robinson is the founder of InsurewithMax.com and the creator of ChildMax. Email him at help@insurewithmax.com


References 1 http://dailym.ai/2tDkfbe 2 http://bit.ly/2sDL9i5 3 http://bit.ly/2fOLSLi 4 http://bit.ly/2bxhBhv 5 http://bit.ly/1mRjsd7 6 http://bit.ly/1mRjsd7 7 http://bit.ly/2uFXSlt 8 http://bit.ly/2k70dA5 9 http://bit.ly/2uFXSlt


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