Parental Choice champion working families. We are working hard to help balance the logistics of caring for children and the elderly with practical support to find the perfect solution. Alongside we work with businesses to help with the emotional issues which may challenge employees in the workplace as a result of their caring responsibilities.
In the lead-up to the festive season we are looking at a few organisations who are looking out for parents, families and children. Working Families is a charity which we support and champion, so we wanted to find out more about their fundraising.
Their award-winning Legal Advice Service provides free advice on employment rights to working parents and carers across the UK — a majority of whom are on a low income.
Some of their stories, in their own words:
I had a real advocate on my side
“I have been working part-time as a midwife at a large teaching hospital since 2013. For five years, I had set days and a set shift pattern. I needed this predictability in my schedule to manage my childcare responsibilities.
When I moved departments and my new manager told me I could no longer have set days, it was shocking. I work really hard, I put in extra hours, and I am never off sick. My manager’s decision made me feel worthless and completely undervalued. It felt grossly unfair, and I was worried that I would have no choice but to leave my job if I couldn’t retain my set days. I contacted Working Families, and I got a reply really quickly.
The legal adviser gave me excellent and clear advice, suggesting what I should do and how I should phrase my reply to my boss. The adviser was so lovely and supportive; I felt like I had a real advocate on my side. When I had the conversation with my boss, she immediately backed down and allowed me to keep my set working pattern.
Working Families has given me the confidence to stand up for myself when I feel like my rights are being trampled. I have recommended the helpline to many of my colleagues, including those who share the same manager. If I hadn’t spoken to Working Families, I could not have carried on with my job.”
“When my company was re-structured, I had to change my role with my employer, which required me to have a new contract.
In my original role, I had agreed that I would work from home, as the headquarters in London is not a reasonable commutable distance for me and my local branch had shut down.
In my new contract, they changed my working location to London, which was not discussed when the role was originally offered. This change was surprising and very stressful — I am a single parent of a child with special needs, and finding suitable childcare for him is incredibly difficult and expensive.
While going to London for meetings would have been possible, I would not have been able to be based there full-time.
Working Families told me my legal position and gave me options to discuss with my employer. This was really helpful, and meant that I knew my rights when I met with my employer.
Following the meeting, my employer put me on a 6-month homeworking trial period, which worked so well that they let me continue with the homeworking arrangement permanently.
I have received help from Working Families on two occasions when I was having issues around managing my working and caring responsibilities. On both occasions, they provided me with quick, clear advice that made me feel more confident to advocate for myself. The service Working Families provides is incredibly valuable — particularly for working parents of disabled children — and I have recommended the Legal Advice Service to other parents of children with special needs.”
In the last year, demand for Working Families’ free legal advice service has increased by 42%, with tens of thousands more people needing support. This festive season, you can give vital support to even more working parents and carers.
Donate to Working Families during the Big Give Christmas Challenge—between 3 and 10 December— for your donation to be matched, doubling your impact.
To find out more about Working Families see their website.
Parental Choice work with businesses to create bespoke programmes which increase the morale and productivity of their employees. These include searches for long term childcare, wellbeing talks, one to one consultations, family global mobility and payroll, pension and legal employment services.
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