Working Parent Day: New research suggests UK workers put family before career

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Almost half of UK employees (48.1%) are working parents, with 23.3 percent planning to have children in the next five years

A new study from CV-Library, the UK’s largest job site, has revealed that the majority of UK workers put family ahead of a career, with 77.5 percent not worrying about building a strong professional foundation before having children because they believe a family doesn’t hinder career prospects.

Ahead of Working Parents Day the job site conducted research amongst over 2,000 UK professionals to ascertain attitudes around maintaining a career alongside a having a family. Findings revealed that the majority of employees feel positive about being working parents, suggesting an encouraging shift in attitude:

  • Almost half of UK employees (48.1%) are working parents, with a remaining 23.3 percent planning to have children in the next five years
  • Over three quarters of workers (77.5%) don’t worry about building a strong job foundation before starting a family
  • 60.7 percent of working parents believe that having children has not reduced their career prospects. A further 19.5 percent of working parents actually think having children has had a positive impact on their career
  • 58.5 percent of UK professionals believe that the children of working parents have an advantage when it comes to their own future career success
  • 61.8 percent of UK professionals think businesses do enough to accommodate working-parents. This figure increases amongst working-parents, with 63.3 percent believing their employer does plenty to support their needs

“It is fantastic to see that UK professionals have such a positive attitude towards being able to start a family whilst still maintaining a good career,” said Lee Biggins, founder and managing director of CV-Library. “Furthermore, it’s reassuring that British businesses are doing what they can to support working-parents, which is helping to change perceptions. We live in an age of the working-parent and people have more choices when it comes to having a family alongside a successful career. It’s reassuring to see that employees don’t feel they have to put off having a family for the sake of their professional future.  Support from our businesses is essential to ensure this shift in attitude continues.”

However, whilst businesses seem to be offering their support to working parents, co-workers seem to be slightly less considerate, with over half of working parents (59.1%) believing their colleagues judge them if they need to leave work early for their children.

Attitudes also alter when it comes to securing a new job:

  • Almost a quarter of job-hunters (22.4%) admit to being asked whether they plan to have  children during an interview
  • 1 in 4 working parents believe they were not offered a new job because they have children

Biggins concludes: “It seems that whilst employees with children feel supported by their existing employers, this support reduces when they look for work elsewhere. This suggests that work still needs to be done in the recruitment sector to ensure that working-parents aren’t disadvantaged when seeking new employment.”

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