Employees Finding Freedom Through Work-Life Benefits

Many U.K. companies this year are offering child and backup care support as part of their employee assistance programs (EAPs) and work-life benefits packages. With children out of school on summer vacation, finding safe and affordable childcare becomes a concern for many working families, and these companies hope to help parents with this issue.

According to research by Working Families, 60 percent of all mothers in the U.K. work full-time. Adding to that, fathers in the U.K. work longer hours than men without children, with one-third of fathers working more than 50 hours a week. Juggling the demands of work and family can make it difficult for employees to perform to their full capacity on the job. Working parents who are offered help from employers for finding the right childcare solution often feel more freedom to concentrate on their work and home responsibilities.

“The daycare needs of working parents in the U.K. have changed. It's no longer a matter of finding 9-to-5 care for preschoolers and infants,” said Alan King, president and managing director for Employee Advisory Resource, a provider of EAP and integrated work-life services. “Parents are working longer hours, which creates needs that regular day care providers can't meet. Knowing your employer proactively supports your family's caregiving needs can be very liberating for working parents.”

EAP and work-life providers like Employee Advisory Resource (EAR) offer family support services to take away some of the anxiety and stress that comes with balancing caring responsibilities. From May to June, EAR saw a 25 percent increase in employee calls to their helpdesk for childcare services such as holiday clubs, babysitters and nannies, as parents prepared for summer vacation. These services, as well as resources including employee help lines, expert advisors and information packs, enable employees to feel more in control of their work-life balance.

This, in turn, makes them more productive and happy at work.
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