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National Work Life Week 2021 Briefing

Getting the balance right for parents and carers

New polling, carried out to mark the start of National Work Life Week 2021 (Oct 11–15), shows a wide gulf in how parents and carers are managing to balance their work and home lives as we come out of the pandemic. 

This National Work Life Week, we wanted to get a snapshot of how the UK’s working parents and carers are feeling about their wellbeing at work, and their ability to get a good, healthy balance between their work lives and their home lives.

We carried out a YouGov survey of 755 British parents with children 18 or under, who were either working or on flexi-furlough in August 2021. What we found was a wide gulf in peoples’ experiences of flexible, family-friendly working, and consequently how being a parent impacts on their working life. We also delved into how those with additional caring responsibilities for sick, elderly or disabled family members were finding their work-life balance, finding that in many cases they are the group most sharply affected by some of the negative practices and cultures we uncovered.

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