The impact of divorce on employees and employers

While the huge personal cost of divorce and separation is well documented, there has been little research on the impact these challenging life events have on peoples’ professional lives. However, recent research by the Positive Parenting Alliance (PPA) found that 90% of people felt that divorce and separation had a negative impact on their ability to do their job.

The PPA research also revealed that despite the impact of divorce and separation on peoples’ working lives and ability to do their jobs efficiently, only 9% of employers had specific policies or support in place to help employees. As a result, the PPA have introduced an initiative for companies to sign up to a policy to support employees who are struggling.

The PPA’s overall aim is to change the culture of separation with employers playing a vital and supportive role. Currently, most HR departments do not have a formal policy for staff going through divorce and separation.

The PPA campaign suggests that employers commit to supporting employees in the following ways:

  • Recognising separation as a ‘life event’ in HR policy so that those experiencing separation feel recognised and know they can access support.
  • Ensuring parents going through a separation have access to flexible working to enable them to manage school and childcare pick-ups and drop-offs while they reconfigure their family arrangements.
  • Giving employees access to, and pointing them towards, emotional counselling during this period.
  • Signposting and access to separation support services so that parents can have the guidance and support that they need to separate in the most compassionate and child-focused way.

The campaign has met with a hugely positive response, with businesses including Asda, Tesco, Metro bank, PwC, and Unilever, partnering with the PPA to promote more family-friendly policies for employees going through divorce or separation.

We recognise that employers may wish to help staff but may only have limited knowledge of the legal complications resulting from family breakdown. We offer a no obligation 60-minute initial consultation to those thinking about divorce and separation so they can understand the legal position relating to their individual circumstances, for £50 (incl. VAT). It might be that this service could benefit your employees with either an informal or formal recommendation from the HR department.

If you would like to discuss this further or would like any promotional literature to pass onto your staff, please do get in touch on 01444 472700 or