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Divorce hurting workplaces in Leeds


6% locally have had to leave jobs after a split, or have a colleague who has; 13% have seen workplace hit by sick leave following stress of break-up; 15% say separation or divorce had a negative impact on productivity.

Businesses in Leeds are suffering as a result of divorce and separation. That’s the finding of a new piece of research from family law not for profit group Resolution.

The research, released today (26th November) shows that 6% of people in Yorkshire & Humberside have either had to leave their job as a result of their own separation, or have seen a colleague move on for the same reason.

According to Resolution, which commissioned the research to mark Family Dispute Resolution Week, the stress of separation also has an impact, with 13% saying they or one of their colleagues has had to take sick leave as a direct result of the anguish of a break up. And 15% of people in Yorkshire & Humberside said separation and divorce has had a negative impact on productivity where they work.

Yet despite the effect it has on them or their colleagues, just 7% of people in Yorkshire and Humberside think their employers offer adequate support for people going through a break up, with 35% saying more needs to be done to provide support in the workplace for those undergoing separation or divorce.

It’s estimated that divorce costs the British economy up to £46bn every year; and the British Chambers of Commerce recently emphasised the relationship between employees’ wellbeing and business productivity.

Partner and collaborative lawyer at Leeds law firm Clarion Justine Osmotherley, said: “It can be easy to forget that sometimes things going on outside work can have a profound effect on what happens within it, as these figures show.

“With workers across the UK seeing a notable impact on productivity, taking sick leave, or even leaving their jobs altogether, divorce and separation is an issue that bosses in Leeds need to take seriously and look out for the warning signs.

“There are 20,930 small businesses (i.e. those with less than 50 employees) in the West Yorkshire Metropolitan County, so losing just one member of staff, even for a short amount of time, can have a huge impact on productivity, and on the other people that work there.