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Demand for family friendly benefits ignored by UK employers

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New research reveals that eldercare would be most useful to over 45s whilst childcare preferred by under 45s. Childcare has long been a consideration for workers but now eldercare has become a rising priority for many UK employees, despite reports that the majority of employers are yet to recognise such assistance as part of benefits packages.

More workers aged between 46 and 55 opted for help looking after elderly relatives (16%) compared to childcare (12%) when choosing their wish-list of most helpful benefits, according to new research by youatwork.

In stark contrast, over a third (34%) of workers between the ages of 36 and 45 cited childcare as one of the benefits that would be most helpful to them at the moment, compared to only 7% who chose eldercare.

Despite the fact that nearly 9 in 10 employers think that family friendly employment policies will become more important to employers in the next five years, the provision of such benefits in the workplace currently fails to meet demand. The argument for employer help with childcare has gained considerable voice over the last few years, yet still only 1 in 10 employers provide their staff with some form of assistance.

The growing demand for eldercare is still to be acknowledged, let alone addressed. Nearly 2.7 million people are thought to combine work with informal care for another adult, yet several recent studies suggest that the issue of eldercare is way behind that of childcare for employers.

Key findings

– Two thirds (66%) of big employers cite childcare problems as a major contributory factor to absenteeism.

– Less than 2 in 10 (18%) employees believe that UK employers provide enough support for working parents.

– 7 in 10 (70%) employers say that childcare problems mean staff are unable to work extra hours when needed.

– Three quarters of parents can not find enough childcare.

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