Supporting Employees through Divorce – Boutet in Workplace Today

While family stress, separation and divorce are personal matters, they’re still likely to impact the workplace, and it’s important for employers to provide tools for employees to deal effectively with such situations, Toronto family lawyer Nathalie Boutet says in Workplace Today magazine.

“When a family is unravelling, people are overcome with strong emotions including the fear of losing time and connectedness with their children,” writes Boutet. “They have anxiety around their financial obligations and if they can maintain their lifestyle when assets and income are divided. They are confronted by how to cope with increased child-care responsibilities when they have to parent alone, as well as how to survive the parenting and financial disagreements that almost always come with a divorce.”

If a separation becomes acrimonious, says Boutet, “the process can take far longer and the emotional and physical impact on both partners can be much more severe. Over-stressed and anguished employees inevitably find it hard to keep up their productivity at work, and can also unconsciously project their stress and anger towards team members and customers.”

There are ways, says Boutet, for employers to promote well-being and minimize the impact on workplace productivity during these times of stress.

Promoting healthy separations by ensuring employees have access to collaborative law negotiations through Employee Assistance Programs; allowing flexibility through modified work schedules; respecting privacy; and creating a culture that promotes working together are all ways organizations can help staff through a difficult time, writes Boutet.

Read Nathalie’s full article on

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