Ben Black, CEO, My Family Care

Work+Family Summary: May 2020

Ben Black, CEO, My Family Care

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Regular work+family updates for
HR and diversity professionals.

Ben Black's monthly summary of everything you need to know about work+family - female leadership, flexible working, gender diversity, and a bit of childcare/eldercare news to boot...


May is the third month in a row when we cannot talk about anything other than Coronavirus and lockdown. So, a few further thoughts and headlines that you might have missed.

Lockdown ending; stress levels rising

Somehow it felt that lockdown was okay when there weren't any choices to make. It's not dissimilar to the stories of all those people brought up in the Communist bloc who didn't realise they were unhappy until the Wall came down. Now that the end is nigh (of lockdown rather than the world that is!) the very real pressures of home schooling; working too hard because you're not on furlough; or not working because you are - are all coming to the fore.  

There were various reports out in May, but have a look at this in the Guardian as a good example. Mental health and wellness will all be zooming up the HR priority list.

Flexible working in a post-COVID world

There are a few things that are starting to emerge:

  • Working flexibly really can and does work. The office will never be the same again
  • Lockdown has brought a level of equality in distribution of domestic chores between mothers and fathers that have exceeded Germaine Greer's wildest expectations. That's great for gender equality, but don't cheer too loudly just yet
  • The post-lockdown world is going to mean frightening numbers of job losses which will impact women far more than men. The LSE suggested the figure was over 90% which feels like a PR headline number but plenty of other commentators made the same point
  • Diversity still matters (obviously) but it's going to be less about gender and more about those more complicated diversity challenges: ethnic and socio-economic diversity.

There is a real chance to make the world better and fairer long-term (if we survive the short-term that is).

Worth reading

Childcare troubles

It has been a torrid time for childcare providers caught between ever-changing Government lockdown policies and understandable parent fears.

Nurseries are finally and gradually starting to re-open including 50 of ours on the 1st June. A bit like the office, the childcare market will never quite be the same again as formal and informal childcare eventually combine to form a truly flexible market. We will end up in a better place even if the journey there is painful.

The situation hasn't been any better in Ireland. "Catastrophic" for some Irish providers was the BBC headline.


Google agreed to pay stay at home staff a $1,000 bonus.

We've continued to produce great Covid support and materials for clients - please have a look at our Working through COVID Toolkit. Your relationship manager will have full details.

Our partners SuperCarers, were acquired by Home Instead - a case of Bricks buying Clicks.

And, as we approach Carers Week, please ask for some of the latest, and much needed, support in place for your working carers.

Ben Black

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Regular work+family updates for
HR and diversity professionals.