For working parents, as school summer holidays begin, the reality of another six or seven weeks of juggling work and child care is beginning to set in. With the usual summer childcare facilities cancelled or operating at reduced levels and hard decisions to be made about if and how grandparents can help, the next few weeks do not look straightforward.
Charity People’s Associate Director (Temporary roles), Zelda Leader says,
“It has now been months since most parents and carers have been forced to fit their working day around their dependant others – I am one of those, and needless to say it has been tough! Flexible working for many now actually means juggling their day to cram in work, look after their loved ones, do school runs, home schooling… the list goes on.
Everyone has their story to tell, and most have really needed extra support whether it be at home, or at work. Now, with restrictions easing we can start the build our home life support networks back up, but for many staff in the sector we will could still be working at home for months.”
Now is a good time for organisations to check in with staff who have parental responsibilities and reconsider whether they are being supported.
Here are a few questions to consider:
When was the last time your senior leadership re-visited the topic of supporting working parents?
Are managers continuing to ask their line reports – how can I support you with balancing work and family?
Do your existing policies really support families? Perhaps they were hastily amended at the start of the crisis, but do they need updating as the situation has changed?
Are you actively encouraging staff with childcare responsibilities to prioritise their self-care by taking regular breaks, working flexibly in a way that is manageable for them and accessing any counselling or other additional support available to them through your organisation?
How Charity People can help
Have you considered taking on temporary staff to help support parents and cover annual leave taken through the summer period?
Zelda Leader says,
“After several years spent recruiting for the charity sector I can confidently say that in many cases a team’s work pressures can be reduced by hiring a temporary worker. Engaging a temp at this moment in time has brought about a new set of benefits which would really help staff who have childcare responsibilities.”
If you would like to consider hiring a temp, please reach out to Zelda (Zelda@charitypeople.co.uk) for a conversation. She has a range of trusted and valued candidates who have been placed through Charity People before, and could start asap.
Resources from within the third sector for this blog: