School children excitedly countdown until summer for weeks however, a recent study carried out by Cotton Traders found that it can leave parents “dreading” the holidays: 29% of parents say that they dread the summer holidays due to the stress of finding childcare. The survey of 1,500 UK adults disclosed that almost a third of parents struggle to find childcare across the summer holidays.
A huge 39% of parents have to miss out on summertime events such as sports day, plays and early finishes due to work. It seems that employers just aren’t doing enough to accommodate working parent’s needs.
Unpaid leave is the price that over a quarter of parents have to pay in order to spend some quality time with their kids over the summer. According to the survey, 36% of parents find it difficult to get time off work in the summer and the solution even came down to taking unpaid leave from work to cover childcare.
What can employers do to help?
Almost ½ of parents (48%) think that having a more flexible workplace would help with this. This could be in the form of flexible hours, allowing your staff working outside of the normal working day or even working longer hours earlier in the year to make up for extra time off over the summer months.
Another option could be to allow parents to work from home during the six-week break. Only 26% of parents in the survey work from home in order to spend more time with the children, this is despite half of parents wanting to do so. Employers could provide laptops and mobiles top help with home-working and make summer holidays less dreadful for parents. With 5 out of 10 mothers and fathers wishing they could spend more time with their families over the summer break, home office would be the ideal compromise.
While most workplaces are traditional, some have opted for a slight alteration: converting one of the meeting rooms into a nursery. Wouldn’t it be brilliant to be able to work knowing your child is just round the corner – taken care of and entertained? The reason behind it was to retain as many workers as possible. Today, this can be the key to the perfect summer holidays for both male and female workers.
The plaster solution being used by parents at the minute to work around the summer distress is to take different days of holiday so that the children are being taken care of at all times by at least one parent. Alternatively “Say hello to Gran” will surely be a well-used phrase this summer as 41% of parents confessing they rely on their relatives and even friends to look after the children in July and August.
Ultimately, a fair policy for booking holidays will help too. “Flip-flops crossed” that some improvements will made by employers over next year and that by next summer we will have seen a positive change.