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Divorce hurting workplaces in Cumbria

Divorce hurting workplaces in Cumbria

7% locally have had to leave jobs after a split, or have a colleague who has; 16% have seen workplace hit by sick leave following stress of break-up; 15% say separation or divorce had a negative impact on productivity.

Businesses in Cumbria are suffering as a result of divorce and separation. That’s the finding of a new piece of research from family law not for profit group Resolution.

The research, released on Wednesday 26th November, shows that 7% of people in the North West have either had to leave their job as a result of their own separation, or have seen a colleague move on for the same reason. 

According to Resolution, who commissioned the research to mark Family Dispute Resolution Week, the stress of separation also has an impact, with 16% saying they or one of their colleagues has had to take sick leave as a direct result of the anguish of a break up. 15% of people in the North West said separation and divorce has had a negative impact on productivity where they work. 

Yet despite the effect it has on them or their colleagues, just 10% of people think their employers offer adequate support for people going through a break up, with 33% saying more needs to be done to provide support in the workplace for those undergoing separation or divorce.

It’s estimated that divorce costs the British economy up to £46bn every year; and the British Chambers of Commerce recently emphasised the relationship between employees’ wellbeing and business productivity.

Head of Family Law at Burnetts Simon Mortimer is a spokesperson for North Cumbria Collaborative Family Law, a group of Resolution-trained family lawyers. He said, “It can be easy to forget that sometimes things going on outside of work have a profound effect on what happens within it, as these figures show.”

“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.”

“There are 21,020 small businesses (i.e. those with less than 50 employees) in Cumbria, so losing just one member of staff, even for a short amount of time, can have a huge impact on productivity, and on the other people that work there.”

Solicitor Katie Wright is also a member of the North Cumbria Collaborative Family Law group. She said, “Divorce is a really stressful thing to go through – but there is a better way to deal with it. Resolution members in Carlisle help people manage their separation in a way that minimises conflict, focuses on the needs of any children they might have, and helps them avoid court if they can.”

“Divorce and separation affects a huge number of people – 69% of people in the North West have been through a split themselves, or know someone who has. “So if someone you know at work is separating from their spouse or partner, encourage them to speak to a Resolution member, or visit the website at http://www.resolution.org.uk to download our free guide to the options available to them. Separation is tough, but there is a better way.”

Notes to Editor:

1.    Resolution is a group of over 6,500 family lawyers and other professionals in England and Wales. Its members sign up to a code of conduct, which means they promote a non-confrontational, constructive approach to resolving family disputes. To find out more, visit www.resolution.org.uk

2.    ComRes interviewed 4,031 GB adults online between the 26 September and 2 October 2014, including 487 in North West England. Data were weighted to be representative of all GB adults aged 18+. ComRes is a member of the British Polling Council and abides by its rules. Full data tables are available at www.comres.co.uk 

3.    On 30 October 2014, John Longworth, Director General of the British Chambers of Commerce, said: “Businesses [recognise] that the wellbeing of their workforce improves business productivity and in turn, has a positive impact on growth.”

4.    Source for small business numbers: Office for National Statistics (Data tables available at http://www.ons.gov.uk/ons/rel/bus-register/uk-business/2013/rft---table-1.xls

5.    In June 2013, the Centre for Social Justice estimated the annual cost to Government of family breakdown to be £46 billion (Fractured Families – Why Stability Matters)

Published: Wednesday 26th November 2014
Categorised: Cases involving children, Family Law

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