Almost forty percent of working parents plan to leave their jobs within the year – even if they like where they work..

According to the annual Modern Families Index, parents are looking to employers for better support and more understanding.

Bright Horizons, which is a backup care and nursery provider, that released the Index, advises companies on building more care into their systems for their existing workers who are parents, to prevent them from leaving.

The Index found that many are moving towards roles that fit with a more enjoyable work-life balance they had discovered in the pandemic era. This is especially the case at companies which do not seem committed to providing support for family life in the longer term.

 It says that rather than the ‘Great Resignation’,  this may be more of a “Great Reset and Rethink”. 

Denise Priest, Director of Employer Partnerships at Bright Horizons, said:“This research overwhelmingly demonstrates that the world of work has changed and employers who don’t realise that risk losing their best workers. For many, the ‘Great Reset and Rethink’ is already underway, with many employees saying that they will be looking for a new role in the next 12 months. 


Any employee is at risk of leaving

The data suggests employers should be concerned about any employee leaving, as three quarters of respondents think about their childcare and eldercare responsibilities before accepting a new job or promotion. It finds that 66 percent of parents say their employer is unsympathetic to childcare needs. 

The firm warns that 59 percent of senior managers are looking elsewhere, which could see organisations at risk of losing some of their most knowledgeable and experienced staff.

Ms Priest 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, or help in sourcing eldercare. They can also nurture internal networks in which parents and carers can exchange mutual support and advice.”


Workers happy to be back in office but want to work flexibly 

The Index also found that flexible working outranked flexible location for most staff. Nearly four-fifths (79%), whether front-line workers or knowledge workers, said they would prefer flexible hours.

For those whose roles clearly suit remote work, there is an emerging preference for a blend between office and home working. Nearly half of parents polled (49%) want a “hybrid” blend of the two, with the preferred balance tilting towards more days working from the office than from home.

Meanwhile, 22 percent of respondents told the Index they would rather work exclusively from the office, which is a third more than last year. This signifies that the office is becoming a more positive place to work from again.

Ms Priest said that however employees choose to offer working patterns for employees, it is important to consider their needs. 

She said: “Working parents have indicated in this research that life is becoming more stressful, not less. Most parents have concerns about their children’s educational catch up and mental health. Many workers, including young people, are weighed down by eldercare responsibilities.

She added: “As we adjust to life post-pandemic, it’s clear that many groups need care assistance. Supporting them will help protect the talent pipeline and increase a company’s appeal to those considering changing jobs.” 





Feyaza Khan has been a journalist for more than 20 years in print and broadcast. Her special interests include neurodiversity in the workplace, tech, diversity, trauma and wellbeing.