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What Should I Consider when Becoming a Working Parent?

 

Starting a new job or returning to a career when you are a parent can be an exciting and challenging time. Getting used to balancing the needs of your family and the demands of paid employment can take time. Having confidence in your childcare arrangements helps. And don't forget you will have acquired useful new skills by becoming a parent which could include: time management, budget management, negotiation skills and flexibility.

Balancing work and home

The Government is encouraging employers to offer a range of policies to help parents balance the demands of their job with bringing up children. Employers who provide family friendly arrangements to help their employees could gain from:

  • more loyal staff who don't need to take unauthorised leave
  • an increase in the number of staff who return to work after maternity leave
  • experienced and skilled staff staying on after they have children
  • good returns on investment in training staff
  • high levels of staff productivity
  • better public image

So discuss your needs with your employer or trade union representative.

Childcare help for employees

Your employer could benefit from getting involved in childcare. Your employer could:

  • provide childcare information for you
  • provide information about paying for childcare and the childcare tax credit in Working Tax Credit/Child Credits and Disabled Person's Tax Credit
  • provide Childcare Vouchers or childcare allowances to help you pay for childcare

Taking time off work

Sometimes you may need to take time off to be with your children. Maternity leave is paid leave, sometimes with unpaid leave as well, for pregnant women to take around the time their baby is born. The Government is improving entitlements to maternity leave and you should therefore check with your employer to find out exact details.

Parental leave - parents and adoptive parents will have the right to take a certain amount of unpaid time off work over the first five years to care for each child. 

Flexible work

Sometimes you may need to fit your job around the demands of your family, especially while your children are young, when they are coping with new circumstances or if you have a child with disabilities or particular needs. Here are some options to discuss with your employer:

  • working part-time or reduced hours
  • job-sharing
  • term-time working
  • flexi-time - allowing you to choose your hours within set limits career break - unpaid time away from your job sabbatical - paid time away from your job
  • teleworking - working from home

Arranging childcare at short notice

Every parent using childcare finds that there comes a time when emergency childcare could be needed. You could build up a list of possible childcarers your child knows well - perhaps childminders who are friends with your childminder, for example or reserve some annual leave for emergencies.

Further Information

For further information, contact the Tameside Families Information Service on:

Contact Information
Contact by Post

Family Information Service (FIS)
St Peter’s Children’s Centre
Trafalgar Square
Ashton-under-Lyne
OL7 0LL
Contact by Telephone
0161 342 4260

 

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