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News & EventsNEWS - 14 Aug 07 - Working parents do their kids proud
New research from Jobcentre Plus shows kids like their parents working. Children across the country have given the thumbs up to their parents for going out to work, according to new research amongst almost 500 primary school kids, published today by Jobcentre Plus.
• 46% of children said that they liked their mum or dad going to work in contrast to 16% who didn’t
• One third said that the fact that their parents worked made them feel proud
• Working parents are on the whole successful in finding ways to spend quality time with their children e.g. playing indoors and outdoor games
• Almost four in ten children (37%) agreed that their mum or dad still made time for them despite working hard
Denise Nixon, a specialist Lone Parent Adviser at Jobcentre Plus, said, “Going back to work can be a difficult step to make if you’re not sure about the impact it’s going to have on your family, either emotionally or financially. Our specialist advisers can advise lone parents on anything from flexible working to childcare.”
Overall children showed an understanding of why their parents worked:
• 55% said their parents worked because they needed the money
• One in five (17%) said their parents worked because they enjoyed it
Liz Tucker, counsellor and family relationship expert, said,
"It’s only natural to worry about how your child is coping while you’re at work but the truth is that children are generally pretty tough and can adapt very quickly. A working parent can be a positive influence because this establishes a work ethic in the family and also gives kids a chance to be a bit more independent. Having a job and being a parent does mean that you have to keep lots of balls in the air but if you can make time each day to enjoy your children, both you and them will feel much more comfortable with the idea of you being back at work.”
With over 29 million people in work in the UK, and the numbers on benefits continuing to fall, more and more parents are benefiting from being in work. The recent Green Paper 'In Work, Better Off', sets out Government proposals for helping even more people move off welfare and into employment.
NEWS - 11 Aug 07 - The anorexia of middle-aged mums.
What are the words you least expect to hear in a restaurant? "Are we going to eat?" asked one girlfriend recently. Sorry? "Eating is cheating, you know." She had spent some time in Manhattan where, apparently, this rather sick little mantra is repeated by Botoxed Desperate Housewife-types wishing to starve themselves into their skinny jeans.
Over there, eating-disorder experts have noticed an increase in the number of middle-aged women suffering from eating disorders. Anecdotally at least, there is a similar trend over here.
NEWS - 10 Aug 07 - Jordan and the SMA row that is not OK
Celebrity mum Jordan has caused a row with many mums over what appears to be a sponsored editorial in OK! Magazine where she endorses SMA baby formula. The feature spread shows Jordan posing with her baby, holding a feeding bottle that conveniently shows the SMA logo. In the feature, the model promotes the benefits of using formula feeding instead of breast - the feature is followed by a full page advert for SMA follow-on formula.
The feature has mobilised anti-Nestlé campaigners who support the Boycott Nestlé campaign - aiming to combat the company's aggressive marketing tactics in the promotion of baby milk formula. More: www.ukparentslounge.com
NEWS - 2 Aug 07 - New Maternity Legislation Prompts Employers To Think Twice About Recruiting Women
Chalfont, UK. – 02 August, 2007: A new study published today shows that changes to maternity legislation, introduced from 1st April 2007, are resulting in an increased reluctance to employ women, particularly among small and medium-sized businesses (SMBs). The independent research, commissioned by Citrix Online, a division of Citrix Systems, Inc. (Nasdaq: CTXS) surprisingly reveals that 53% of employers believe the new regulations are making some managers think twice about recruiting women.
The Citrix Online survey also uncovered widespread ignorance about the new maternity legislation, with 34% of SMBs unaware of the changes. These changes include the extension of statutory maternity pay from six to nine months and the removal of qualifying criteria so that all mothers are now entitled to 12 months maternity leave, regardless of how long they have been employed in their position.
The new regulations are the latest in a series of family-friendly initiatives introduced by the government since 2003 to help employees balance work and family responsibilities. According to the Department for Business, Enterprise and Regulatory Reform, the initiatives have improved employee retention rates, with fewer women now changing employers after they return to work from maternity leave. Despite this, 30% of employers in the Citrix Online survey thought it would be harder to retain talented women in the workforce and a further 26% believe the latest changes would have a commercially negative impact.
On the positive side, 72% of respondents felt that the new regulations will cause the more progressive companies to adopt additional flexible working practices to help working mothers manage the demands of work and family. Currently, 78% of employers allow staff to take a day’s holiday at very short notice and 64% offer the option to adjust start and finish time. However, just 18% offer formal flexitime and only 11% operate job sharing initiatives, according to the Citrix Online research.
One of the key ways companies can support working mothers is by providing them with technology that allows them to work from home as if they were in the office. Yet, the research shows only 43% of SMBs have any technologies in place to support home working, compared to 76% of bigger companies.
“In spite of the government’s best efforts to encourage employers to provide a family-work balance, our research has shown that attitudes, particularly amongst SMBs, have been slow to change,” commented Simon Presswell, MD, EMEA, Citrix Online. “There is a preconception that hiring women can be detrimental to a business, but the opposite is true. A company that supports women in maternity leave and encourages them to work flexibly upon returning to work will benefit from a more highly motivated and loyal staff, with lower levels of absenteeism.
"Moreover, a recent study published by The Women and Work Commission asserts that if women’s participation in the labour market is increased, it could be worth up to £23 billion, or 2.0%, of GDP.
“By adopting progressive flexible-working policies, companies can make it easier for new mothers to return to work and therefore help reduce this loss of talent from their workforce. The latest generation of SaaS remote access products such as GoToMyPC® and GoToMeeting®, make it incredibly easy for employees to work from home as if they were in the office. For employers, no upfront investment in technology or IT expertise is required and for working parents, the ability to use their home PC to work on a regular or ad-hoc basis helps to accommodate the additional pressures of being a parent.” concluded Presswell.
More at: www.citrixonline.com
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