The study by myTamarin: The Pandemic Rollercoaster for Working Parents suggests that government and employers need to act now, to prevent an exodus of working parents from their professional lives.
73% of working parents think that there should be a joint effort between Government and corporates, to support them during lockdown, with childcare and education. Without incentives such as tax breaks, there is no reason for companies to continue to do the right thing by working parents, principally mothers, in the workplace.
myTamarin spoke to hundreds of working parents and managers about their experience of working through a pandemic. Shockingly, we found that more than 75% of our respondents had been unable to carry on working at pre-lockdown levels. Over 80% were struggling to cope whilst only 10.8% felt fully supported by their employers. In interviews, many (mainly mothers) admitted to taking holiday or unpaid leave to home school their children.
Parents told us:
“There is a mental health and burnout crisis just around the corner in 2021. In 2020, we survived on adrenalin.”
“Home schooling is extremely challenging as there is a fragmentation: you’re not focusing on work with kids at home, plus you’ve got the responsibility of their education.”
Working parents spoke about “trauma”, “adrenalin”, “keep going”, “burnout”. Alongside those worries, we also saw and heard about “resilience”, “empathy” from employers and the key difference in how working parents had got through – “flexibility” from their bosses.
In these challenging times, are employees being honest about what their day to day struggles really are? Are benefits packages addressing all their pain points?
What are the obstacles to their career progression and growth?
What’s the best way to free up their time from some of the ongoing family responsibilities during the pandemic?
Flexibility has been the welcome mantra of many employers. Many working parents were able to work from home, and flex their schedules. However, employees have still been in extremely challenging circumstances, trying to balance work and home life, without regular access to schools or childcare settings.
Employers have been faced with an enormous challenge. How to protect the health of a business as well as their employees’ safety? They’ve had to be imaginative and adaptable, going beyond the limits of their current benefits packages, to find a happy medium that gives employees the best chance to be productive and able to stay in their roles.
Zarja Cibej, CEO and Founder, myTamarin, says:
“To keep working parents, principally mothers, in productive employment, companies need to embrace the idea of giving parents flexibility in the way they access benefits. Just ‘being flexible’ isn’t always what parents need. If we are to maintain and support the progress of parents in the workplace, especially mothers, this is the one solution that is powerful yet simple to deliver, with the right partner. myTamarin can provide companies with all the advice and know how they need to support working parents, from newborn support to workplace nurseries.”
- Despite the unprecedented levels of flexibility offered, parents need additional support
- It became apparent that flexibility often meant working parents (and disproportionately, working mothers) had to cut hours or take holiday, and hence slow down their career progression
- Beyond flexibility, employers need to offer extra support and flexibility to retain talent, and protect the bottom line
- Government needs to step up. Tax allowances to encourage all employers to keep positions open after furlough, with explicit protection for working parents or those with care responsibilities
- Stable and permanent childcare solutions are the only way we can all get back to work
myTamarin has launched a new corporate product, answering parents’ wish that employers transfer benefits to employees so they can choose the way that they use them. Because just figuring out how to firefight at home is hard enough!
myTamarin for Corporates offers four products:
- myTamarin Childcare: From permanent and backup childcare solutions to newborn virtual support
- myTamarin Workshops: We help your employees navigate their way through childcare and other parenting choices
- myTamarin Compass: Data driven surveys to better understand your workforce
- myTamarin Village: An expert platform to support all your employees with family responsibilities