Working parents would like more flexible working, but most don’t have the option

gender pay gapAccording to new research commissioned by McDonald’s UK, working parents want to move to a more flexible working culture, but around three quarters simply don’t have it as an option. The study was conducted over the summer by YouGov with 1,100 parents across the country. The research found that over three quarters of respondents think flexible working would allow them to juggle work with home commitments, yet 73 percent say they do not have that option in their current role.

The study found that parents prefer jobs that offer early starts and a shorter working week, with only 5% opting to work the traditional ‘9-5’:

• 59% of parents in full-time employment would prefer starting work between 6am and 8am

• If given the option, 39% of working parents would opt to work longer hours in return for a shorter working week. This is particularly true of those with children under four years of age with the number rising to almost 50%

• Over three quarters of parents think flexible working allows them to manage commitments outside of work

To champion flexible working, McDonald’s has partnered with flexibility campaigner Anna Whitehouse (Mother Pukka), CIPD (the professional body for HR and people development) and Working Mums.

Anna Whitehouse, also known as Mother Pukka, commented: “I have been freelancing for most of my working life, but it’s only as a parent that I’ve realised how important some flexibility is, and how hard it is for two parents to work full-time in office jobs. That is why I’ve been lobbying the government and spreading the word with our Flex Appeal campaign for three years and we are delighted to be working with McDonald’s using their footprint across the country to help us spread the message further.”

Gillian Nissim, Founder of Working Mums, commented: “The potential to rethink how we work, where we work, when we work and why we work is immense – especially for parents. Growing numbers of people with children are feeling frustrated with the strait jacket of working a 9 to 5 and want a job that fits better with their commitments outside of work. This research further illustrates how flexible working can be mutually beneficial for both employees and employers, providing more motivated, loyal and productive employees.”