Back-to-school survival guide
The back-to-school season can be challenging (an extra twenty minutes in traffic, here we come…) especially for parents and guardians who have full-time jobs. Juggling work and family can seem almost impossible to manage – but with a few clever measures in place, you can get the best from your team by supporting parents and carers in your firm during this crazy period.
Offer more flexible working arrangements for parents
One of the best ways you can support parents and guardians is by offering a more flexible working schedule – and they now have more rights to request. The Flexible Working Bill brings in more flexible arrangements for workers, some of which are outlined below.
Requirement for employers to consult with the employee before rejecting their flexible working request
Permission to make two statutory requests in any 12 month period
Waiting times reduced from three to two months
This way, parents can adjust their schedules to pick up and drop the kids off at school as needed. If your employees aren’t aware of this new bill, inform them of their rights and what they’re entitled to. Not only will this help them find more of a balance between their home and work obligations, but it’ll also cut down their stress, leading to more productivity and efficiency, and who doesn’t want that?
What do your employees need?
Maybe some parents are calling out for adjusted working hours, while others would prefer to work from home for the few weeks so they can be there for their kids. Either way, start talking to your team and really flesh out what they need – what are their biggest issues, and how can you adjust your existing arrangements to support them? For example, maybe you could let them start an hour earlier and finish an hour earlier, or take an extended lunch.
Make sure you consult the team about these arrangements before hey kick. Co-workers could hold grudges around taking on extra tasks without any clear reasoning behind it. Consulting your team on the situation clearly and confidently can help ensure everyone’s on the same page, and primes for a smoother workflow on a practice-wide level.
Distribute tasks where needed
On average, it takes 8 days for kids to fully settle back to school after the holidays – that’s almost two working weeks. So for those few days, see if there’s any small tasks you could sprinkle amongst the team – maybe it’s some email admin or sending off payslips. These little tasks can easily add up and could be a lifesaver while your staff’s families settle into a more solid routine – especially parents who have a kid who’s just starting out at school, or one that’s moving from primary to secondary school.
If you’d like to make this a more long-term solution, consider popping it into your business’ policies. Not only will that help keep things running smoothly, but it can also attract a more diverse pool of qualified candidates. After all, who wouldn't be interested in a job that understands and supports the demands of parenthood? Oh, and don’t forget to throw it into your firm’s benefits in your upcoming job description too.
Parents are the foundation of society, and by being aware of the needs of working parents during the back-to-school season, you’re helping support the next generations to come. Here at Bright, we’re proud to offer remote and hybrid working options to our 250 staff, many of whom are working parents. We’re also on a mission to make a happy and efficient working life a reality for accountants through reliable software and amazing support.
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Bright was created in 2021 when Thesaurus Software Ltd. and Relate Software Ltd. decided to join forces. Bright is a leading provider of accounting, payroll, tax and HR solutions to businesses across the UK and Ireland. We help thousands of accountants, bookkeepers and small to mid-sized businesses become more productive and efficient with our...