Work Life Balance

Achieving a good work life balance is the holy grail of parenthood. The aim of this column is to provide advice and tips to busy professional parents. Working parents have endless new responsibilities and pressures. However, parenthood also brings a wealth of new skills and life experiences from which to draw and parents deserve to be respected and praised for their loyalty to their employers, their contributions to the organisations that they work for and to society in general!

Do you need time off?


Do you feel that you need to take some time off work to settle your under-five into new childcare arrangements? Find out if you are entitled to Parental Leave. Eligible employees can take unpaid parental leave to look after their child's welfare. The child must be under 5 (and can be up to 18 in special circumstances). There are factors which affect eligibility and a 21 days notice period must be given before the intended start date of parental leave. The good news is that your employment rights are protected during parental leave.

Another way of achieving a better work life balance may be "making a statutory application" to work flexibly.

Flexible working can mean working certain hours or working from home. If you care for someone (a child or an adult) you have the legal right to ask for flexible working. This does not mean that your employer has to agree to the request. Examples of flexible working include job-sharing, working from home, part-time hours, compressed hours, flexitime, annualised hours or staggered hours. Statutory applications must be submitted in writing and there are specific elements that you must include (visit for full details). Your employer should request a meeting to discuss your application, and upon agreement will issue a new contract.