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Caring responsibilities impact the working lives of more than a quarter of employees

Although 34% have benefited from flexible working to do so, almost a third (30%) have taken sick leave and a further 29% have used their annual holiday allowance.

“Although employees have a legal right to take time off to deal with emergencies involving dependants, those having to juggle work with ongoing caring responsibilities can feel under considerable pressure and may even be forced to give up work1,” said Mike Blake, Willis PMI Group Director.

“There is a strong business case for offering flexible working options, with such provisions improving productivity and cutting costs by reducing staff turnover and absenteeism.”

Legislation introduced last year has given all employees with 26 weeks of service the right to request flexible working.

The Willis PMI Group study however found that less than half of workers (42%) are aware of this entitlement.

Furthermore, only 42% believe their employer would accept a request for flexible working in any case to help them manage their work-life balance.

“Family life demands can be extremely challenging and faced with an ageing population, eldercare responsibilities are set to rise,” added Blake. “The workplace will need to keep pace to ensure the health, wellbeing and motivation of staff is not compromised.”

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