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09 Aug 2021

Top five business trends for family-inclusive employers

Industry research is one of the ways that we ensure we are providing the work and family solutions our clients need, and keeps family-inclusive employers up to date. For quarter three, we highlight five employer trends relevant to a focus on managing work and family; we also update you on recent public policy and legislation changes; and reveal the new, emerging needs of working parents and carers.


A shift to greater wellbeing provisions

Among the five employer trends this quarter, wellbeing and mental health continue to be a big part of business conversations. It’s no wonder, a recent Employee Benefits poll found that, since the start of the pandemic, 80% of organisations are seeing an increase in demand for workplace mental health support.

The closer blend of work and home life has supported a shift in the perspective on wellbeing, and employers have stepped further into this space on behalf of employees, recognising both the extraordinary times we have all experienced and future new ways of working. This new perspective also puts the spotlight on child and adult dependent care. There is much debate over whether care should be considered as part of the business infrastructure, particularly in the US. However, the demand for workplace care support, and the importance of practical solutions such as Back-Up Care, is of rising interest to employers this new hybrid-working world.

Upcoming legislative changes

Employers of working parents and carers should be aware of new and developing public policies. Businesses and governments are looking into how to manage remote and blended working after the pandemic, with some employees wanting to claim the right to work from home, and others wanting to be protected from being expected to work remotely.

Ireland is one of the latest countries to commit to Right to Disconnect legislation, and according to Prospect, two thirds of homeworkers in the UK would like to see a new ‘Right to Disconnect’ policy in the forthcoming Employment Bill.

This is echoed in the conversations we are having with clients. Several are currently analysing their requirements to determine their hybrid approach, and most are sensitive about their employees’ anxieties regarding the return to the workplace and commuting. Clients are also looking for very practical support to aid their employees’ recovery from the stresses or physical impacts of the pandemic.

Pressures on working families

Employers’ needs are only half of the equation, with working parents and carers seeking tips on managing burnout and change management. Additionally, data from our ‘Speak to an Expert’ service showed that parenting advice was the top request in the first half of 2021, with over four in 10 of our expert calls seeking support on this topic. Eldercare and childcare solutions respectively were the next most requested topics for advice, emphasising the need for workplace care support.

In the report, we delve into the other concerns working parents and carers have, and hear from some of our clients’ employees directly, to see how they benefitted from our career coaching service.

Our look at recent industry studies and surveys picks out some key information for this quarter. This includes a new survey from the Office for National Statistics on the impact of Covid-19 on depression, Henley’s Equity Effect study, and research on fatherhood during lockdown from The Fatherhood Institute.

Building an inclusive working environment

We have seen leading employers working consistently to ensure that new ways of working are designed as inclusive from the outset, seeing this as a real opportunity for a reset.

Download Bright Horizons’ On the Horizon Q3 2021 report to get the full update, including a recap and rundown of past and future events.

This article is provided by Bright Horizons Work+Family Solutions.

In partnership with Bright Horizons Work+Family Solutions

Bright Horizons is dedicated to providing the best in class work+family solutions.

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