National Post

Saturday, January 30, 1999

Companies need to work at helping parents, report says

Adrian Humphreys
National Post

There are more working mothers and less help for parents in Canada than in many countries -- and that widening gap needs to be addressed by employers and governments, says a new report.

Canada is ranked behind six European nations and ahead of only the United States in a comparison of support that is available for families with two working parents, says the study released by the Canadian Policy Research Networks, an Ottawa-based think tank.

The report paints a picture of two competing realities in Canada -- more working moms and more worries about absentee parenting.

More Canadian families are juggling two jobs and parenting than ever before, with 65% of Canadian married mothers employed, 70% of them full time; however, when parents arrive at work they suffer greater anxiety over leaving their pre-school children than they did previously, the report says, culling numbers from previous studies.

"I'm hoping that employers get the message from this that their employees are showing up each day but some of them, who are balancing work and family, have some real concerns and are worried about what it all means," said the report's author, Kathy O'Hara, a former research fellow with the think thank.

"Employers, when they're recruiting, when they're trying to retain people, need to keep that in mind. A good chunk of their workforce is doing this balancing act -- what are they doing for them?"

Related Site

Comparative Family Policy: Eight Countries' Stories
The full text of the report, along with an executive summary and news release.

Copyright Southam Inc.