If flexible working was a growing trend in forward-looking companies before the pandemic, the idea has certainly grown as we have learned to cope with successive lockdowns.
Shane Miller, Director and Head of Family Law Department at Thursfields Solicitors looks at the impact of flexible working for familes.
Already it seems as if agile working is here to stay as more and more businesses have grown accustomed to and accepted that staff can work productively from home without being in the office every day of the week.
And this will clearly impact on contact with children for separated parents.
Where flexible working is offered, there is the opportunity for parents to have their children more than they previously did and this can also be fitted around childcare. Flexible working is facilitating a discussion on who has the children and when.
We have many new possibilities, and we can, with both parties’ consent, now move further away from the situation where one parent only has their children every other weekend.
The archaic norms could soon be a thing of the past and one of the very few benefits of Covid-19 might be that it has triggered a discussion that could lead to new beginnings for separated families and their children.
Perhaps the future will increasingly see couples embracing equal time and shared care arrangements?
And this can feed into the way family lawyers and the Courts become accustomed to dealing with child arrangement orders.
In the first instance however, separated parents need to have a discussion on how flexible working can work best, both for them and their children.
Issues such as business travel, shift patterns and school start and finish times, as well as the perennial school holidays, all need to be addressed and your experienced family lawyer can help facilitate the discussion.
Business owners and HR managers also need to be in on the discussion so they are aware of the issues facing separated parents and seek to work with them to find the best way forward.
Coronavirus has a lot to answer for, but if it results in a mature and forward-looking development of shared parenting then we can see at least one positive coming out of the past 12 months.
Thursfields have built our reputation by providing timely and practical advice to our clients. We understand that it can often be difficult to find the time and the common ground to deal with family matters.
With this in mind, we will tailor our approach to suit you and take your instructions in whatever way best suits you – by ‘phone, video conference or in person at our Birmingham, Solihull, Worcester, Kidderminster or Halesowen offices.
We have an excellent team of specialist family solicitors to advise you, on family and work commitments, always seeking the best solution for the children and both parties.
If you would like more information, please contact Shane Miller at Thursfields Solicitors on 0345 20 73 72 8 or email firstname.lastname@example.org
Visit www.thursfields.co.uk to learn more about the full range of services available for you and your business.