Working parents have a lot to deal with, but their non-parent fellow workers may have to work harder or undertake additional duties to cover for them—resentment and conflict may result.


The workload of some non-parents in the workplace is growing. Non-parents understand that it can be incredibly challenging for their colleagues to juggle paid work, parenting and other responsibilities. Still, they don’t want to be taken for granted or be asked to work harder without adequate compensation.

Sometimes managers assume that non-parents have fewer important personal commitments, which can result in non-parent workers being taken for granted, and they may face certain barriers at work such as:

  • Being promoted more slowly or denied raises.

  • Flexible work policies have often been applied to parents first.

  • Many non-parents may be expected to:

    • work awkward shifts and holidays, 

    • travel more, 

    • log overtime, and

    • change work locations, 

These barriers have led to a backlash against family-friendly policies in some organisations. Ultimately, it’s up to employers to be cognisant of balanced workloads and respect for everyone’s work-life balance irrespective of their family status.


Oct 2018 CBC. Childless employees say their work-life balance is overlooked

Sep 2020 SMH. Parents v non-parents at work: COVID has brought tensions to the surface

Sep 2020 NYTimes. Parents vs. Nonparents in the Workplace

Oct 2020 Fast Company. We need to talk about the bias against child-free employees