How to Support Employees Through Parental Burnout

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Health Assured team

29 August 2018

Parental burnout is a common issue amongst organisations. In this guide, we detail how employees can be supported through any potential issues a working parent may come across.


Parental burnout is the after effect from enduring unrelenting parenting stress. It consists of three stages:

  1. An overwhelming exhaustion related to the role of a parent.
  2. An emotional distance between a parent and their child.
  3. Lacking a sense of effectiveness in a parental role.


A recent survey of more than 2,000 parents published by the Frontiers in Psychology, found that close to 13% of parents surveyed had what the researchers classified as, “high burnout”. This qualified them as feeling exhausted, less productive, less competent and emotionally withdrawn, at least once a week.

Raising a family and maintaining a successful career can be a difficult challenge, and it is even harder for an employee if they don’t feel supported by their employers.


Attempting to balance your workload, family, and social life might seem impossible. But if employees have the right support both in and out of work, there’s no reason why every aspect of someone’s life can’t be fulfilled.

Employers have a responsibility to their workforce, to ensure each member of their team feels supported if they are experiencing parental burnout. Below we have included some advice that business leaders can follow, to ensure employees have a healthy work-life balance and avoid parental burnout.


Why do parents experience parental burnout?

When balancing work and home life, it can feel as though one outweighs the other. For example, if your partner is supportive at home, but you don’t have the understanding of an employer, it can feel like your career is suffering.

A lack of social life can also contribute to parental burnout, and a good work life balance is crucial to employee wellbeing. This is because if a staff member carries out their duties as a parent and a member of the team, with no personal ‘downtime’, this can lead to frustration, resentment and other negative emotions.


How can parental burnout be helped?

There are a number of actions an organisation can take to help support its employees through parental burnout, and ensure they feel supported in their role:


Consider allowing flexible working

A common benefit for employees from all types of organisations, is flexible working. This can enable parents to meet all of their childcare needs, while still perform as a valued member of the team.

Offering employees, the option to start work earlier to allow them to pick their children up from school, will make them realise that their employers understand their home situation. As an appreciated and valued staff member, they will feel supported and will be more likely to perform to a higher standard.


Ensure workloads are manageable

Another way parents can feel supported in the workplace is through the delegation of workloads. If tasks aren’t suitably divided between the workforce, some employees may feel required to stay late and finalise work, therefore missing out on valuable time with their families.

To get the best out if their staff, employers should ensure all employee workloads are manageable. This will then help promote the importance of a good work-life balance, and the benefits it can have in regards to happiness and satisfaction in the workplace.

In recent years, parental burnout has unfortunately become a more prevalent issue within organisations. But by implementing the advice mentioned in this guide, employers can feel prepared to support members of their workforce, regardless of their home situation.


If you would like to find out more information on any of the topics mentioned in this article, please contact Health Assured on:

0844 892 2493


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