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Go Home on Time Day 2015

Published: 16 Sep 2015

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  • 60% of workers do not currently go home on time every day
  • 22% of those longer hours workers persistently work longer than their contracted hours.
  • 58% of working parents say that working late is the only way to deal with their workload.  
  • 40% say that work impinges on their family time, eg helping children with homework or taking them to activities often or all the time
  • Men aged 36-45 are the least likely to leave work on time.

Next Wednesday (23 September) is Go Home on Time Day when the charity Working Families calls on employers, families and individuals to tackle one of the major issues that causes conflict between work and family life. The annual day to take stock of work life balance for everyone takes place midway through National Work Life Week. The charity’s research1 suggests that few working parents feel they’ve got the balance right.

Despite the recent introduction of the Right to Request flexible working for all and the introduction of Shared Parental Leave, a significant number of parents are unhappy with their work life balance and nearly 60% are putting in extra hours just to get the job done. This is a combination of work pressure, jobs growing too large to be done within ‘normal’ hours and workplace cultures that still value an employee’s presence at work above their health, and long hours.

Fathers are more likely to work longer hours than mothers, with men in the 36-45 age bracket least likely to leave work on time.

Working Families’ research1 indicates that just under half (49%) of employees say their main reason for staying late at work is the employer’s work culture, and 43% say their employer expects it.  With 58% saying that staying late is the only way to deal with their workload, and 47% saying that they can only get their job done properly if they stay late, the UK’s persistent inflexible working culture is damaging the delicate balancing act parents are required to perform to ensure they fulfil their working responsibilities and are able to have quality time with their children.

Additionally, with 40% of parents saying that they are worried about caring for their ageing parents as well as their children (the Sandwich generation), Go Home On Time Day is needed more than ever – as a reminder that workplaces need to change their inflexible work practices to ensure that parents and carers are able to do their jobs to the best of their ability within their contract hours, and to ensure that their health and wellbeing, and that of their children (and parents), is not compromised.

So Working Families is asking employers and employees to use Go Home On Time Day to have a conversation about how work can work best for all.

Sarah Jackson, CEO of Working Families, explains:

‘Going Home on Time should be the norm, not a novelty, but for many families that’s just not happening. We’re inviting people everywhere to Go Home on Time this Wednesday for a mid-week breather, see how good it feels and start making it a year-round habit. To managers, put the date in the diary, and encourage everyone to join in and discourage late meetings or travel on the day.  To employees, decide what you’ll do when you leave work on time, whether it’s spending time with your family, playing sport or simply lolling on the sofa and recharging your batteries.  And use Facebook and Twitter (@GHOTDUK, #wherewillyoube) to let everyone know you are taking part’.


Notes to editors

1 Modern Families Index 2015More

For more information contact

Deborah Granville, Campaign Manager, National Work Life Week Deborah.granville@workingfamilies.org.uk or telephone 07887 573464

Liz Whitehead, Working Families Press Office, press@workingfamilies.org.uk or Josh Mills, Campaigns Assistant, josh.mills@workingfamilies.org.uk on 020 7253 7243.

Go Home on Time Day website – http://gohomeontimeday.com/