Two fifths have cancelled, or weren’t able to make, healthcare appointments due to work commitments
Research by Unum has found that 42% of UK working parents and child carers surveyed had missed healthcare appointments due to work pressures, compared to only 23% of employees without caring responsibilities.
In addition, 31% of parents and carers of children admitted to telling their employer they were somewhere else to cover up the fact they were attending a health-related appointment.
Over a quarter (28%) of parents and child carers had to take a full day off, either as annual leave or sick leave, for a one or two hour healthcare appointment.
Conducted at the end of last year and involving 2,013 full-time adult workers, the survey also showed 61% of parents have had to wait a day or longer to get a doctors or specialist appointment for their child, and around half (47%) of those questioned reported that their own child's condition had deteriorated while waiting for their appointment.
According to the Government's Modern Families Index, 40% of families with one child were in full time employment (both parents working full time), and that 78% of parents are working beyond their contracted hours.
Unum UK chief executive, Peter O'Donnell, said: "It's worrying that family health is being impacted by work pressures leading to missed medical appointments. This year we've experienced the perfect storm of working parents and carers also juggling full-time schooling and childcare, and time will tell the long-term health impacts this may have caused.
"If, going forwards, employers want to build a healthy and productive work environment where employee well-being is paramount, it's crucial they help working parents find a way to achieve a better work-health balance. With some form of remote working likely to be the norm for many for the foreseeable future, technology like the [email protected] app has proved incredibly effective and valuable. Unum will continue to provide an agile and responsive digital health service to our customers in these challenging times.
"By providing remote access to GPs, mental health and physiotherapy services, it's immediately possible to make life easier for families to manage their healthcare needs. For many, a video call with a medical professional is all that's needed to provide peace of mind, knowing that their own health is being looked after, as well as that of the children in their care."
Unum said 165,000 employees currently have access to its [email protected] services, available at no extra cost as part of group income protection policies. It offers remote GPs, second medical opinions, mental health support, an employee assistance programme and physiotherapy via an app.
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