Single parents desire more flexible working options
In most Western countries for several years, a profound change of family and parenthood has been seen. A large number of different life styles have appeared, in which people take responsibilities for others in very different social compositions: Single parents, “blended families”, non-marital partnerships and also multi-generational households.
But another number has significantly increased: the number of single persons, especially single parent households. These groups of people face very different challenges when it comes to the workplace. As single parents do not only lack the life partner who helps to organize the everyday life, but also need to earn their livelihood largely on their own, single parents are facing another perhaps even more challenging situation when it comes to work-life balance issues and how to harmonize family and career claims.
According to a survey conducted by Gingerbread in the UK inflexible working practices are hindering the employment opportunities and career progression of single parents. As a result the top job priorities for single parents were an understanding line manager, flexible or part-time hours and a workplace close to their child’s school or nursery.
Alongside the survey, the institute also conducted in-depth focus groups. One outcome of these discussion were that some of the interviewees actively chose to have less responsibility at work in order to spend more time with their children.
So it seems as if the claim that single parents object to their employers are truly relevant criteria to meet these additional challenges to job, but especially to the family.