There are moments in life that we cherish forever like when we have a new baby for example; Employers and employment laws value these things while making time for them with shared maternity leave and paternity leave. Other points in our lives are difficult and upsetting, such as the loss of a loved one or a chronic illness. Good employers understand this and support their employees in their time of need.
Note: This article is taken from writer James Hayhurst, in which he tells us about the importance of taking into account employees who are going through separation or divorce.
But this is not an exhaustive list of the life-changing events many of us go through. Perhaps the most challenging issue after a bereavement is separation after a long-term relationship. Every year, an estimated 280,000 children experience the breakup of their families. To be clear, if that number doesn’t surprise you, It is equivalent to the population of Newcastle upon Tyne.
This number does not include parents; Each of them faces the challenge of starting over and this is a huge number of people who each year deal with a major change in their lives, and the vast majority of these parents and guardians, as well as some children who are now adults are colleagues of someone at work. Yet, the law and most policies Employers do not give these employees time to put their lives in order.
Of course, some of you will say, “Your personal problems should not affect work,” or “I pay you to work, not to worry about your problems,” but it is worth considering the facts before dismissing this as an important issue; We all know that happy, engaged, and stable employees work more effectively, achieve better results, and are more likely to stay with their current employer.
However, research by Resolution found that one in seven employees said a relationship breakdown had negatively affected their work productivity, 16% said their workplace had been affected by sick leave associated with the stress and anxiety of a relationship breakup, and even worse, 9%. They said the breakup forced them out of their jobs eight years ago, before the added stress we were all experiencing due to the pandemic.
It is not expected that at least these numbers will not be the same now, and they could be much higher; The breakdown of relationships is not just a problem for those affected; Its impact extends beyond the workplace, which is why it is something employers need to take into account.
Wellness and safety are more important now than ever. As with other life-altering events, understanding the impact a breakup can have on colleagues is in everyone’s interest, as well as the right thing to do.
Positive Action Leads to Positive Education:
The Positive Parenting Alliance is a group of expert British organizations and individuals who believe that no child deserves to go through the hostile experience of separation or divorce. Last year, it launched a simple commitment called The Parents Promise to encourage parents to discuss how best to work together for their children’s health if their relationship ends.
Our research found that nearly 9 out of 10 couples talk about how their money will be spent if they win the lottery, and only 5% discuss possible parenting arrangements in the event of a separation or divorce, and many don’t want to think about it and the same is almost identical confirmed by the vast majority of companies.
But if separation and divorce have such a significant impact on businesses, it makes sense to consider that, which is why we are now calling on companies in the United Kingdom to help better protect children and families during separation. This is by implementing four simple HR policy initiatives to help support separated parents.
Here are the four initiatives:
- Consider separation as a “life-changing event” in human resources policy; Those going through a breakup feel valued and supported.
- ensuring that parents going through a separation have access to flexible work; This is to enable them to take care of their children and manage the post-separation phase.
- Give employees access to emotional counseling during this period and direct them to it.
- providing access to separation support services; Parents can get the guidance and support they need for an amicable and child-friendly separation.
Employers, by giving employees support, flexibility, and guidance as they go through a breakup, can help their employees through a moment of emotional trauma, and not only will this have a huge positive impact on the families involved; but It will also ensure better mental health for employees and reduce sick leave, and most importantly, we also believe that companies that recognize this issue will have a significant and positive impact on how the broader community deals with separation.
Having lived through the pain and anxiety of separation, I know the impact it can have on the people and those around them, which is why we launched The Parents Promise last year and are now encouraging employers to take the next step and help their employees through this painful moment in their lives. their lives; This could have a huge positive impact on the 280,000 children who will face the breakdown of their families in the next 12 months alone; Rather, we believe that the results of these initiatives can help catalyze significant cultural change and make society more empathetic.