The family law group Resolution has recently conducted research that reveals that the family members are not the only ones to suffer the effects of divorce and separation. In fact, the research shows that the impact has a far wider reach and has economic consequences for all of us.
According to Resolution:
9% of people in the UK have had to leave jobs after a family breakdown, or have a colleague who has.
16% have noticed a negative effect on their workplace hit by sick leave following stress of break-up.
15% say separation or divorce had a negative impact on productivity where they work.
If the statistics are correct, it is clear that British businesses are suffering as a result of divorce and separation. The divorce rate is relatively high in the UK and therefore, it is likely that many businesses could find themselves suffering at the fate of their employees’ marriages.
It is quite shocking to consider that nearly one in ten of us have had to leave a job because of the stress brought on by divorce or separation, or we know someone who has. Only 10% of employees believe that their employers offer satisfactory support for those going through separation. The results go further to reveal that 34% say that more needs to be done to support employees in this situation. The British Chambers of Commerce emphasise the link between employees’ wellbeing and business productivity. This theory applies to all strains of work life and a business that recognizes this and nurtures the relationship between employers and employees is likely to reap the rewards by seeing positive output in terms of productivity. When considering that it is estimated that divorce costs the economy up to £46 billion every year, can bosses really afford not to sit back and take note?
“With workers across Britain seeing a notable impact on productivity, taking sick leave, or even leaving their jobs altogether, divorce and separation is an issue that bosses need to take seriously and look out for the warning signs,” says Jo Edwards, the National Chair of Resolution.
Marc Lopatin, founder of Lawyer Supported Mediation, added: “Human resources and employment professionals would be strongly advised to take note of these findings. Given the frequency and profound impact of divorce on mental health, it’s clear that human resources departments need to go beyond simply signposting staff, for example, to family mediation or brokering discounted legal fees. The truth is that workplace stress needs to be given far greater attention by most employers than it currently is.”
A survey of 2000 adults undertaken by Friends Life revealed that relationships were the third highest cause of stress in the lives of individuals. As family lawyers, this comes as no great surprise. We see the knock-on effect of family breakdown every working day. We feel that it is part of our role to support our clients through the tough times and often that means going beyond giving legal advice. We regularly find ourselves giving emotional and practical support to our clients who often feel they have nowhere else to turn. We also work closely with employment lawyers if problems or disputes arise between our clients and their bosses as a result of divorce related issues. This can be particularly prevalent in the realms of family business when technically speaking, one spouse could in fact be the other’s boss.
Divorce and separation brings with it a raft of issues that are not always limited to matrimonial finances and children and are not always obvious from the outset. Each case has its own unique circumstances and it is our job to advise accordingly and provide client support where necessary. If you are affected by any of the issues raised in this blog, then get in touch with our team of specialist family lawyers on 0161 969 3131 and make an appointment.