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Should Employers Do More to Support Employees During Divorce/Separation?

Consensus Collaboration Scotland - an organisation comprised of Scottish lawyers, family consultants and financial specialists - have conducted research into how family breakups in employee’s personal lives are affecting Scottish businesses.  

Last year, the Centre for Social Justice estimated that the annual cost to the government of a family breakdown was £46 billion, but the new study shows the damage to individuals and businesses that separation and divorce can cause.

 The results of the research which was published last week show that not only are breakups negatively impact on working life, but also that employers are not offering adequate support to staff who are going through a difficult divorce or separation.

According to Consensus Collaboration Scotland’s research, 15 per cent of those asked said they had witnessed their workplace being hit by sick leave after the stress of a breakup, and 14 per cent said that separation or divorce had a negative impact on productivity in the workplace.  

Furthermore, in the most extreme cases, some ultimately ended up leaving their job after a family breakup, or have witnesses a colleague doing so. For small businesses with few employees, the loss of even just one employee can have a seriously detrimental effect on productivity. 

Those findings have also been supported by a survey undertaken by family justice organisation Resolution.  Resolution’s survey - which interviewed more than 4,000 adults online throughout the UK - found that while 10 per cent of people think their employers offer adequate support, 34 per cent said more needs to be done to provide support in the workplace for those going through a divorce or separation. 

Commenting on the research, Marc Lopatin of English-based organisation, Lawyer Supported Mediation, said: “Human resources and employment professionals would be strongly advised to take note of these findings. Given the frequency and profound impact of divorce on mental health, it’s clear that human resources departments need to go beyond simply signposting staff, for example, to family mediation or brokering discounted legal fees. The truth is that workplace stress needs to be given far greater attention by most employers than it currently is”.

With 118,000 divorces a year according to the latest figures from the Office for National Statistics, it seems clear that businesses should be encouraged to do more to help staff through difficult breakups, to both ensure the wellbeing of their employees and also to reduce their own losses.

Contact us - Divorce & Separation Family Solicitors in Glasgow

Whether you are looking for divorce/separation advice from our family law solicitors based in Scotland, or wish help with a employee/employer matter, Clarity can help! To get in touch, please click here to fill out our online enquiry form. You can also call us today on 0141 433 2626. We look forward to hearing from you.

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