Number of the day: employees’ childcare struggles

Working parents are again looking for support, new research finds.
By: | July 26, 2021

The majority of working parents say childcare struggles have hindered their work and forced them to take on fewer responsibilities, according to a survey of 500 U.S. working professional parents from Vivvi, a childcare and education provider. The survey also finds that 40% of working parents are looking for a new job or leaving the workforce altogether.

What it means for HR leaders

The data is the latest to indicate working parents continue to struggle with balancing their work and home lives during the pandemic.

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Much of the research finds that many employers haven’t gone far enough in their efforts to help their employees who are parents and that company and HR leaders need to step up efforts in order to retain them.

“More than a year since the start of the pandemic, working parents are still struggling with childcare and wondering why their employers haven’t heard them,” says Charles Bonello, co-founder and CEO of Vivvi.

Many organizations attempted to help working parents during the early stage of the pandemic, most of them turning to flexible work policies to help, the Vivvi research finds: 80% of U.S. working parents were offered flexible work policies in the past six months, but nearly 40% of parents reported that increased flexibility meant working more hours.

Related: Joan Lunden: Lack of paid leave for workers ‘makes no sense’

Bonello says caregiving support is important as the job market becomes more competitive and as many employers consider bringing back their workers to the office.

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“As the country reopens and conversations about returning to the office heat up, it’s important employers don’t overlook the need to support working parents. The stakes could not be higher,” he says. “If more companies do not provide their caregiving employees with the flexible support that they need, we’ll see even more parents forced to leave their current jobs, or the workforce altogether.”

Kathryn Mayer is HRE’s benefits editor and chair of the Health & Benefits Leadership Conference. She has covered benefits for the better part of a decade, and her stories have won multiple awards, including a Jesse H. Neal Award and honors from the American Society of Business Publication Editors and the National Federation of Press Women. She holds bachelor’s and master’s degrees from the University of Denver. She can be reached at kmayer@lrp.com.

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