1 August 2014

Parents with children living at home will recognise the feeling of guilt when they leave work on time as their colleagues are still working, and that feeling has sound foundations — their workmates really do resent them.

Research by AXA PPP healthcare shows that 40% of working women and 26% of working men, without kids living at home, envy the extra flexibility afforded to parent co-workers to enable them to manage their childcare.

Director of psychological services Dr Mark Winwood said: "Resentment in the workplace can be an issue. It can create tension, divide the workforce and make some employees miserable none of which are good for productivity."

However, as he points out, things are not all that rosy for working mums and dads.

Mindful of the disdainful glances when they leave work on time, nearly half (43%) of working parents feel guilty.

So guilty, in fact, that they are likely to put in extra hours: 55% of them worked four or more extra hours a week compared with 39% of colleagues without kids to care for.

What is more, 59% work in the evening after they have put the children to bed.

It is the sad fate of the working parent to be resented for sometimes leaving early, and still to miss out on some of their kid's big moments: one in five said that work commitments had caused them to miss an important school event such as a play or parents’ evening.

From Paul Clarke, business writer for Croner