A family playing in the countryside

New initiative to support employees going through divorce

Businesses can play a critical role in helping to support families, yet few employers currently have any formal policies in place to accommodate and support employees who are going through divorce or separation, according to new research from the Positive Parenting Alliance, whose survey shows that employee performance is impacted by such events as family breakdown. 

More than 90% of respondents said that their work performance was impacted when they went through a divorce, and 95% reported that their mental health at work suffered.

Additionally, more than 70% admitted that they were less efficient at work and over 40% felt they had to take time off work as a result of their separation. Over 10% stopped work altogether.

Positive Parenting Alliance is calling for businesses and HR leaders to better support employees who are going through separation by implementing a number of HR initiatives.

It highlights four key changes:

  1. Recognising separation as a 'life event' in HR policy so that those experiencing separation feel recognised and realise that they can access support.
  2. Ensuring parents going through a separation have access to flexible working to enable them to manage school and childcare pick-ups and drop offs whilst they reconfigure their family setups.
  3. Giving employees access to, and pointing them towards, emotional counselling during this period.
  4. Signposting and access to separation support services so that parents can have the guidance and support that they need to separate in the most compassionate and child-focused way.

Many major UK companies signed up to the initiative at its launch in January 2023, including Tesco, ASDA, Vodafone and Natwest. For more information go to theparentspromise.org.uk