Close to one in ten British workers have left jobs following a divorce or separation – that is the verdict of newly published research.
Comres polled more than 4,000 adults for Resolution, a legal organisation which promotes alternatives to court for family disputes. Nine per cent of the respondents said they had had to leave work after a difficult break-up or knew someone who had done so. Fifteen per cent of those polled, meanwhile, admitted their productivity at work had dropped following the end of a relationship, while 16 per cent reported that either they or a colleague had been forced to take sick leave following a traumatic separation.
However, only ten per cent said their employer offered adequate support for those undergoing the end of a relationship, and more than a third agreed that more could be done to help divorcing employees.
Resolution chair Jo Edwards said the finding emphasised the link between worker’s personal and professional lives.
‘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.”
The poll was conducted to raise awareness of Family Dispute Resolution Week, a now annual event held to promote alternatives to court.
It is a well-established truism that divorce or the end of a live-in relationship is one of life’s most stressful experiences. However much they may sometimes get on our nerves, however we much we sometimes squabble with them, for most of us our spouse or partner is one of the fundaments building blocks of our lives, an emotional anchor in sometimes stormy seas – and the longer the relationship lasts, the sturdier that anchor seems to become. If you then wake up one day to find ath anchor pulled up from the seabed and your partner, it is very easy to feel that you have been completely cast adrift.
In my years of practice I have had seen many a newly single client in tears on the other side of the boardroom table. Some have so distraught they have lapsed into clinical depression following the end of their marriages, needing medication or counselling to recover. So it does not surprise me in the least to hear that the after-shocks of a divorce or separation are often felt in a workplace too. There is little employers can do but to try to be sensitive to the concerns and problems of valued employees and help them as much as they can within the practical constraints of running a viable business.
An infographic summarising the research findings is available here.