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Divorce has long been considered a private matter, with employees often encouraged to leave personal issues at home. But new research strongly suggests that this way of thinking is outdated, and that bosses should be doing much more to support employees going through separation.

A recent survey by Rayden Solicitors asked workers at over 130 UK workplaces about their experiences of relationship breakdown and divorce. The findings revealed that a whopping 93% of men and 74% of women said that divorce affected their work in some way. This isn’t too surprising, as 60% reported an impact on their mental health – a serious issue which doesn’t vanish as soon as 9am Monday morning rolls around.

Employers not providing enough support

Another key finding of the research was that employers don’t seem to be doing enough to support workers facing relationship breakdown.

Nearly 60% of people believed their employer didn’t provide enough support, with 42% mentioning a lack of mental health support in the workplace in particular.

This flags up real problems within UK workplaces, not only for people facing a personal crisis such as separation, but for anyone dealing with mental health issues. And considering how many marriages end in divorce, businesses clearly need to be doing much more to support employees and adopt a more understanding, empathetic approach.

The commercial case for better post-divorce support at work

Sadly, not all companies will change their outdated view on keeping ‘private family issues’ outside of the workplace – even with the emotional and mental health concerns flagged up by UK workers.

But some may adopt new policies regarding post-divorce employee support when they see other figures unearthed by the survey, if only for reasons of self-interest. Unsurprisingly, divorcing and separating workers aren’t as productive and efficient as they could be. The research found that:

·        39% of people experiencing separation noticed a drop in productivity

·        15% reported an increased number of workplace accidents, mistakes or errors

·        Around 10% left their job within 12 months of getting divorced.

Further research published in the Nashville Business Journal a few years ago supports this, as its researchers found that employee productivity can drop by as much as 40% in the period just before and after divorce. This can continue for as long as 7 years, and there can even be an impact on the person’s co-workers too.

Need support with divorce?

There are lots of places you can get help, support and advice relating to separation, even if you’re not receiving adequate support at work. Take a look at our list of handy divorce support resources, including Relate, Resolution and many more.

And for legal advice you can trust, get in touch with Liverpool divorce solicitors Tracey Miller Family Law – call us on 0151 515 3036 or 07795 060 211, or email