‘Parents want longer working days and shorter weeks’

Shift Working


Sixty per cent of parents would prefer to start work between 6am and 8am and only 5% want to work the standard 9-5, although three quarters do not currently have the option to work more flexibly, according to a survey.

The figures come from a YouGov survey by McDonald’s UK  of 1,100 parents.  The survey comes as McDonald’s holds its first Flex Let’s Talk About Flex event with  flexibility campaigner Anna Whitehouse (Mother Pukka) and the Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development. 

The study found that parents prefer jobs that offer early starts and a shorter working week, with only 5% opting to work the traditional ‘9-5’, and that, if given the option, 39% of parents would opt to work longer hours in return for a shorter working week. This is particularly true of those with children under four years of age with the number rising to almost 50%. Over three quarters of parents think flexible working allows them to manage commitments outside of work.

McDonald’s UK will hold the first of three pilot flexible working events with Anna Whitehouse (aka Mother Pukka) in North London today. Attendees, who have pre-booked their places, will have the chance to meet one of three ‘flex experts’ including Sue Coe, Head of Employment at Equality and Human Rights Commission; Steph Douglas, Founder of Don’t Buy Her Flowers; and Ben Willmott, Head of Public Policy at the CIPD.

They will have one-to-one consultations to get tailored advice. Further events will follow in Glasgow and Manchester in October and November.

McDonald’s is also working with Workingmums.co.uk and is hosting an upcoming roundtable on flexible working and is sponsoring its annual survey. Gillian Nissim, Founder of Workingmums.co.uk, said: “The potential to rethink how we work, where we work, when we work and why we work is immense – especially for parents. Growing numbers of people with children are feeling frustrated with the strait jacket of working a 9 to 5 and want a job that fits better with their commitments outside of work. This research further illustrates how flexible working can be mutually beneficial for both employees and employers, providing more motivated, loyal and productive employees.”

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