Fountain penWelcome to our WorkFlex Blog where we explore news, policy developments and ideas relating to how parents, carers and their employers can best achieve a good work-life balance.

In the interests of open debate and the exploration of new ideas, any  views expressed here may not necessarily represent the formal view of Working Families.

  • Shared Parental Leave: opportunities, barriers & #sharethejoy campaign

    12 Feb 2018

    As the Government launches a new drive to raise awareness about Shared Parental Leave, Dr Emma Banister of University of Manchester looks at the issues dogging the flagship gender equality initiative 

  • A Life of My Own – Janet Mearns talks to Claire Tomalin

    30 Jan 2018

    Working Families' Janet Mearns talks to Claire Tomalin about her recently published autobiography, A Life of My Own', chronicling her life and the experience of being a working mother in the sixties and seventies when one of your children is disabled.

  • Grievances do more harm than good

    24 Jan 2018

    Let’s start with the assumption that early resolution of workplace issues is the best outcome for you and your employer, and legal action is the worst. The purpose of a grievance process is meant to be to resolve concerns, problems or complaints raised by employees. In practice, we find this is often not the case. Unfortunately, a grievance by its nature is usually a criticism of your employer. It is therefore often seen by the employer, rightly or wrongly, as ‘disloyal’ or an ‘attack’ on individuals or the business.

  • Tackling the problem of childcare

    13 Dec 2017

    By Helen Norman and Colette Fagan, University of Manchester The UK has one of the highest costs for childcare in the developed world. The average household now spends £11,562 a year on their two year old’s full-time nursery fees or £15,118 a year if they live in London[1] (Harding et al. 2017). Latest figures from […]

  • Towards a better work-life balance; working and caring for a disabled child

    8 Dec 2017

    Looking back, I don’t know how I did it. A widowed single parent of a disabled child, I was working long hours, running a tribunal appeal against my daughter’s Education, Health and Care (EHC) Plan and her school placement; and running her to numerous therapy and medical appointments that sometimes involved several hours of travel.

  • Why we need to shout about improving the rights of parents with disabled children

    6 Dec 2017

    We have to value the work that carers do. We have to invest in care. It’s not just the right thing to do, it’s the only financially responsible thing to do. Care is a vital motor for economic growth and productivity. People who care have valuable skills: empathy, patience, creativity. And when we talk about childcare we have to understand that includes the care of children with additional needs and disabilities. It is not good enough to expect parents to struggle alone for years.

  • Pregnancy and maternity discrimination: employers need to create inclusive workplaces

    27 Nov 2017

    Becoming a mother is one of my greatest achievements. Even though it was many years ago, I was lucky to have a good employer who didn’t treat me any differently when I informed them I was pregnant. It was a small family run business who put in place all the necessary measures to ensure my unborn child and I were safe at work, including making a few workplace adjustments.

  • What to do if you are under threat of redundancy

    7 Nov 2017

    You’ve been told your job could be under threat of redundancy so what should you do? As a starting point, you should know that you must be consulted, you are entitled to a notice period and under certain conditions a redundancy payment should be made:

  • Pro Bono – What’s the Buzz?

    7 Nov 2017

    This National Pro Bono Week (6-11 Nov) we are celebrating the generosity and expertise of some of our pro bono helpline volunteers. Tessa Livock, currently on a career break, tells us about how she gets a real buzz from giving help to people who might not otherwise have access to legal advice.

  • National Pro Bono week – A Volunteer’s Viewpoint

    6 Nov 2017

    National Pro Bono week is this week (6-11 November), and we’re celebrating the work of our very generous and knowledgeable volunteer solicitors who offer pro bono advice on our helpline and email platform. We asked them a few questions about their volunteering.