Parents worried parental leave will damage career prospects

Remote working seen as another potential obstacle to career progression research finds

Parents are worried that taking time away from work to spend with their family will damage their career prospects, while workers are also concerned that remote working could hinder their progression within an organisation.

These are the findings of new research, conducted by Permanent TSB (PTSB), which found that 33 per cent of men, and 32 per cent of women, say taking parental leave could damage their career progression. Remote working is another source of concern, with 38 per cent of men and 22 per cent of women saying their career will suffer if they work from home.

Eamonn Crowley, chief executive of Permanent TSB, said the research shows far too many employees feel they have to choose between career progression and caring for their families.

“Employers need to address this as a matter of urgency. Parental leave is a statutory entitlement; no one should feel discouraged from using it. Employers also need to reassure their staff that working from home is not an obstacle to developing their careers,” he said, adding that PTSB is looking at introducing “smarter ways” of working, along with a continued focus on promoting equal opportunities for everyone.


When it comes to balancing remote working with the demands of a family during the Covid-19 pandemic, more men than women say their career could suffer, although the differential isn’t very high, with 35 per cent of men worried about this, against 31 per cent of female respondents.

In addition, more men than women (41 per cent v 37 per cent) feel guilty about making time for minding their children while working from home, while both agree that childcare responsibilities have fallen disproportionately on women since the onset of the pandemic.

The research was conducted among 733 people working part-time and full-time, including working parents and people who have no children.

Fiona Reddan

Fiona Reddan

Fiona Reddan is a writer specialising in personal finance and is the Home & Design Editor of The Irish Times