The Modern Families Index 2015

Published by Working Families and Bright Horizons – January 27th 2015

The Modern Families Index aims to capture an annual snapshot of how working families combine work and family life. Taking over 1000 working families across the UK, the Index asks parents to describe the arrangements that they use to navigate everyday working life with dependent children, and how they feel work and family life is shaped by this combination. It looks at the factors these families negotiate every day: work and working arrangements, and care for children. It also examines the effects of these arrangements on family life. The effects on parental health and stress are also explored, along with parents’ attitudes and satisfaction with their employer when viewed through the lens of work-life balance.

Key findings of the Modern Families Index include:

  • Parents want dependable childcare, and would make sacrifices to get it.
  • Family is the highest priority for parents, whilst work is lower. Policy makers and employers should recognise this reality: working with the grain of parents’ values is likely to create happier, more effective employees. Practices like long hours and presenteeism, although believed to be productive, may have negative effects if they conflict with values about family life.
  • Fathers appear to be more involved. For example, young fathers are dropping off at school in greater numbers (and more frequently than mothers in the under 25 age group). However, fathers generally are more resentful towards their employers about their work and family balance, and this is more pronounced in younger fathers.

The full report is available below.