COVID-19 and flexible working: the perspective from working parents and carers
The COVID-19 lockdown has posed particularly intense challenges for the UK’s 13 million working parents. Since schools and childcare settings have closed, one in seven workers across the UK have had to make changes to their work pattern to balance work, childcare and very often home-schooling requirements.
For those who have been able to carry on working during the crisis, there has been a huge shift in the way we work, with an estimated half to two-thirds of workers working from home at some point during the lockdown. The COVID-19 pandemic has shown that flexibility can be unlocked in many, many more jobs than previously thought. In this report, based on Working Families’ survey of 1,063 working parents and carers, we explore these parents’ and carers’ experiences of flexible working during the lockdown, and their plans and aspirations for flexible working after the lockdown.
The overwhelming majority of working parents and carers we surveyed do not want their employer to return to revert to business as usual after lockdown is lifted. It is time for the UK government and employers to #flextheUK – extending the flexible working opportunities afforded some parents and carers during lockdown to all parents and carers.