How Can Parenting Demands Damage Productivity?

How Can Parenting Demands Damage Productivity?

According to research by, almost three million working days are lost each year due to parents having to care for their sick children.  This is not time off easily taken. Parents face the pressure of being torn between their home and work commitments and the result can be more stress, leading to further losses in productivity for their business or employers.


Pressure on Parents

“Many parents struggle with last-minute childcare arrangements if their child is ill,” Jae Rance of Scratchsleeves points out. “And there is the additional pressure of keeping up at work.”

As the founder and Managing Director of her own business, Jae understands the pressures of balancing home and work, particularly where an ill child is concerned.

“You are being torn in too many directions at once,” continues Jae. “Evidence suggests working parents are often uncomfortable trying to split their responsibilities and roles between parenting and working.”

Presenteesim – the need to be seen working and present in the workplace – and work pressures contribute greatly to workplace stress, and can then lead to more lost days.


Feeling the Pinch

67 per cent of parents surveyed admitted taking a day off work in the preceding 12 months to look after a sick child. Also, parents lose on average three hours a month staying off work for this reason, or to take children to medical appointments.

“There aren’t set limits for carers to take time off work, but employers can ask them to take unpaid leave for extended periods,” Jae points out. “But this still means it’s a problematic issue.”

It has already been announced in 2016, that the UK’s productivity gap, when compared with other countries, has widened to become the worst it has been since records began.

Factors like absenteeism, due to caring for sick children, chip away at productivity, contributing to its current levels.

“It’s not a question of blame,” Jae emphasises.  “Far from it. Parents have responsibilities and deep, emotional commitments to their children’s welfare. But we should always be thinking of solutions.”

Jae’s Scratchsleeves range of products address a particular, and persistent, area of childhood illness: skin irritations such as eczema and psoriasis.


“We’re trying to help parents manage, to ease their burden, and to make their children more comfortable,” she says. “And if we can help the wider economy in the process, then all the better”

Jae Rance, Scratchsleeves


To discover how Scratchsleeves have eased the burden of other parents’ lives, please visit  Alternatively, to find out more about their solutions for relieving children’s irritable skin conditions, please call 01962 890210 or visit their online shop.