Survey highlights cost of living struggle for neurodivergent parents

Analysis of workingmums.co.uk’s annual survey results shows parents with a neurodivergence have had more difficulty negotiating the cost of living crisis than others.

 

Neurodivergent parents are much more likely to have struggled financially during the cost of living crisis, according to an analysis of the most recent workingmums.co.uk annual survey*.

It found that 53% of neurodivergent parents had used a food bank in the last year [compared to 21% of parents generally], with over half of those who have used one doing so monthly.

67% had increased their hours due to the cost of living crisis, compared to 41% generally and 72% had taken on another job due to the crisis, compared to 42% generally. 65% said they had changed jobs to get more money [versus 29% generally]. 63% said their partner had increased their hours as a result of mounting costs compared to 38% generally. 84% said rising costs had impacted their childcare decisions [58% generally] and 82% said their mental health has worsened over the last year [compared to 48% generally].

People with a neurodivergence were also much more likely to have a child with special needs – 64% compared to 23% of the population. 34% said they had a child who suffered from mental health problems [compared to 18% generally] and 38% said their child had had to deal with their or another relative’s mental health issues [compared to 11% generally].

Flexible working was a big issue for parents with a neurodivergence. 89% would investigate an employer’s flexible working policy before applying [compared to 82% generally]; 81% would ask about flexible working at interview [compared to 75% generally]; and 74% have turned down a job due to lack of flexibility [compared to 52% generally]. A huge 76% had left a job if flexible working was taken away, compared to 55% generally.

Parents with a neurodivergence were also more likely to be looking to start their own business, with flexibility being a key issue. Meanwhile, 72% of those who were already self employed said they found getting funding either difficult or very difficult.

When it comes to diversity, equity and inclusion [DEI], while employees with a neurodivergence said they got good support from their employer in areas like mental health, 39% felt their employer just paid lip service to DEI [compared to 29% generally] and 57% had noted a backlash in the last year, compared to 22% of parents generally.

*workingmums.co.uk’s 2023 survey results came out in late 2023 and are based on responses from over 2,000 parents. workingmums.co.uk’s 2024 survey is now open for entries. Click here for more information and to take part.



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