Employers and work-life balance

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Business case – Recruitment & retention

There is intense pressure on employers to retain their most productive employees and to attract new talent from the widest possible pool. In 2002, 69% of organisations experienced recruitment difficulties.

Companies who develop work-life balance policies taking these factors into account are likely to have the competitive edge:

    • The DTI revealed 49% of companies surveyed found work-life policies had a positive effect upon recruitment .

  • Graduates are interested in CSR track records:

  • Fathers want more time with their families:

    • A TUC report revealed that almost two-fifths of fathers would prefer to work fewer hours, with two-thirds saying spending more time with their family was the reason.

  • All employees are interested in good work-life policies:

    • 37% feel that the only way they can get their work life balance right is to give up work, change jobs or reduce their working hours.

    • A DTI poll of 4,000 job seekers revealed that 33% would prefer to work flexible hours rather than receive an extra £1,000 a year.

    • 70% of job seekers want to work more flexibly.

    • 46% chose flexible working as the benefit they would most look for in their next job.

  • Labour turnover costs are prohibitive:

    • The labour turnover for all employees stood at 16.1% in 2003.

    • The average cost of labour turnover in 2003 was £2,500 per leaver.

    • Turnover among managers cost an average of £5,000 per leaver.

    • 66% of organisations feel that turnover has a negative impact on their organisation.

    • BT’s work-life balance policy created a £3m saving in recruitment costs in the year to March 2003 since 98% of women returned after maternity leave. More…
  • Working parents need more support:

    • Working and Caring in London 2002 found that 92% of parents believe that employers should be offering more practical support to help meet the demands of work and caring.

    • Eight out of 10 people had difficulty fulfilling family duties and household tasks.

    • According to the DTI, supporting working parents had a positive affect on the following:
      • 79% on performance
      • 75% on labour turnover
      • 73% on employee motivation
      • 72 % on commitment.

  • .Parents want to maintain their careers:

    • Four in 10 fathers in the UK work more than the 48 hours per week legal ceiling, compared with two in 10 fathers in the Netherlands and in Sweden.

    • One in 3 mothers say they have had to downgrade their career expectations as a result of having children.
  • Eldercarers want recognition for their responsibilities:

    • One in 10 employees care for older people in an informal capacity.

    • Lack of openness exists about eldercare in comparison with childcare.

    • Eldercarers use policies that do not publicly identify them as carers, such as annual leave entitlement.
  • Women in particular want flexibility to help with their dual responsibilities:

    • Even when employed full-time, women still bear the overall responsibility for running the home and looking after children.

    • 92% of non-working mothers said that flexible working arrangements would be essential or important in helping them back to work.


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