Why 'returners' need nurturing back into the workforce.

Returning to work after a break is always difficult. Getting back into the routine of getting up on time, commuting and handling the stresses that come with every job is a tough ask at the best of times.

Think how hard it must be then for someone who took maternity leave but experienced a stillbirth. Or for a worker who went to play tennis one day but suffered a heart attack on court and then had a stroke. 

Consider how demanding it is to go back to work after retiring to the countryside only for a family tragedy to change everything.

These are some of the case studies Randstad have explored in our new campaign, ‘Returning to Work’.

It comprises of a series of powerful videos featuring real people discuss life experiences from maternity leave to serving a prison sentence. 

Working is ‘normal’

Our case studies explain how work was an important part of returning to ‘normal’ after what we chaotic and emotional times. It also tells employers what they need to consider when welcoming staff back after a long absence. 

Things like flexible working conditions, better communication during time off and human skills like understanding and empathy stand out as ways companies can make the transition back to work easier.

Laws exist to make time off and returning more comfortable but simple things like a manager’s email or invite to a social event go a long way to making the process of getting back into the workforce less daunting. 

Resourcing returners

It’s clear from our campaign that returning to work plays a vital role in quality of life but there are wider implications, too. 

According to research by PwC, getting people back into work after a career break could provide a £1.7 billion boost to our annual economic output.

For female professionals, that could increase the annual earnings of that group by an average of £4,000 per woman. 

There are other striking facts, too, that highlight why ‘returners’ should be helped back into work like: 

  • only 17% of retirees think they'll stop working after reaching retirement age
  • there were 110,000 redundancies last year, which is talent that could be redeployed into work where there is demand
  • the average maternity leave is 100 days: women are returning to work earlier than before after giving birth. 

View the full video series here.