Thursday, 1 March 2007

Family law expert warns of pressures

Shropshire families are facing a tough future when it comes to balancing work and home life, a local solicitor has warned.

Nadia Davis leads the Family Law Team at Martin-Kaye Solicitors, in Telford, and she said research had shown many families were dreading the long-term prospect of trying to work and care for their extended family at the same time.

“The research was commissioned by the Equal Opportunities Commission, and showed that almost three quarters of people in the UK think things are only going to get more difficult over the next ten years,” said Nadia.

The figures showed that 82 per cent of people felt it was already difficult for parents to balance work and home life, and 72 per cent believed it would get worse in the next decade.

“It’s clear that if we are going to make life more comfortable for the majority of families, there will need to be changes in the workplace, with more widespread flexible working available, and improved childcare facilities.

“But it’s not only parents caring for children who are finding life difficult – more and more families are facing the prospect of caring for dependant relatives such as parents or grandparents.

“And the pressure can be unbearable when it comes to trying to balance out priorities and still hold down a full-time job.”

Nadia said the survey also showed that spending quality time with the family or finding time for key relationships was the biggest concern for 64 per cent of people, both men and women.

“This worry came ahead of money, health, work and local safety, so it’s obviously a major concern in a great many households – and interestingly, it was fathers who were most worried about the lack of time they spent with their family (74 per cent, compared to 68 per cent of mothers).

“The family unit has changed greatly over the years, and it’s frightening to think that so many families are now dreading the next decade – we need to work hard to develop a better balance between work and home life, and this has to start now.”