Two in five working parents planning to move jobs in 2022, poll reveals

Research finds many workers with caring responsibilities are aiming to change role despite being happy with their current employer

Nearly two in five working parents have said they hope to change job this year, including many who report being satisfied with their current job, a survey has found.

A poll of more than 1,000 working parents with children under the age of 18, conducted by Bright Horizons, found 38 per cent planned to look for a new job in the next 12 months.

And while the research found the majority (86 per cent) of parents who said they were ‘completely stressed’ were planning to make a change, it also found that nearly two-thirds (62 per cent) of those who claimed to have a good work-life balance were also looking to move.

On top of this, half (49 per cent) of parents who said they were highly satisfied with their life overall said they would be looking for new work in the following year,

Commenting on the findings, Charlotte Woodworth, gender equality director at Business in the Community (BITC), said juggling work and home life was “a job in itself” for many people, and employers needed to understand the caring responsibilities of working people in order to attract and maintain talent.

“Employers need to ensure that open conversations around caring responsibilities are encouraged and that the right policies and practices are put in place to support those who may need to work flexibly, or different hours to accommodate their caring responsibilities,” she said.

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The research also found the parents who had additional caring responsibilities, for example caring for an elderly relative, on top of their childcare were more likely to say they were looking for new work. Nearly three-quarters (74 per cent) of this group said they would seek a new job this year.

Workers who said their current employer was unsympathetic to their childcare needs were also more likely to be on the hunt for a new job, with 66 per cent of this group planning a change. Just 35 per cent of working parents said they felt their employer allowed them to work flexibly or offered support to help them manage childcare.

A quarter said their employer was understanding to a point, while another 35 per cent said their employer was unsympathetic.

The research found that a majority (91 per cent) of those with eldercare responsibilities considered support with care an important factor in any new employer, as did 76 per cent of parents with children aged up to 10 years.

Denise Priest, director of employer partnerships at Bright Horizons, said: “There is an opportunity here for employers to help reduce some of the emotional load for their working parents.

“Forward-thinking employers are providing access to tutoring programmes to support their employees' children, or flexible childcare solutions whether at work or near home,” she said.