Parents and Carers


You told us in our inclusion and diversity survey that more support was needed for parents and carers.

The needs of families and carers frequently don’t match with workplace culture.

Pregnancy and maternity still slows women’s career progression. The time new parents need to spend with their children often isn’t valued. People needing to adapt their working hours to care for others can find it very difficult to arrange.

A lack of flexibility in employment can mean work life balance is hard to keep, ramping up pressure on you to perform to your maximum all the time, everywhere.

Attending maternity appointments where there's pressure to get back to work as soon as possible can be stressful.

Returning to work after maternity, paternity or carers leave can be difficult, not knowing what to expect and how to best manage the workload. There's an increase in mental load too, as you've so much more to think about and catch up on. 


What we're doing

Our parents and carers campaign aims to lift some of the burden on you.

  • We want you to be able to choose flexible working so you feel supported in the workplace as parents and carers. We’ll hear from pharmacists who have achieved this and will outline how to ask for flexible working
  • We’ll challenge negative attitudes to parents and carers through a brand new guide to the microaggressions you experience in the workplace
  • We want you to have better support when you return to work after time off for maternity, parental or carer’s leave and will help you understand what you’re entitled to
  • We want you to understand your rights in the workplace and will signpost you to get help.

We're working to achieve real and lasting change for pharmacy through challenge, advocacy with our profession, partners and contributors within and outside of pharmacy.

What you can do

Join us in creating a culture of belonging and more inclusive workplaces. Have you got a great job share or a manager who is a great role model? Share your experiences with us I&[email protected] so we can show just what’s possible to help others.

Been on parental leave and returning to work? Try our Return to Practice guide for members is packed full of practical advice and tips to help you return to the workplace with confidence.

Challenging barriers to create lasting positive change means we must work together as a profession - none of us can do it alone. Together, we can make working life easier for parents and carers.

Breaking barriers

Fire your imagination with the achievements and experiences of others.

  • Are you anticipating parental leave? Or returning to work after a break? Two RPS Directors express their joys and fears about parental leave.
  • It's a balancing act: six pharmacists tell the PJ about parental leave and what to consider when returning to work.
  • Feel guilty about asking for flexible working? Why is it so hard to arrange? – it can be essential for everyone at particular life stages, says RPS Head of Professional Belonging Amandeep Doll.

What you're telling us

"As a single parent, I feel that there wasn’t enough flexibility to keep a healthy work-life balance and I felt I wasn’t given enough support when I was struggling."

"If you are a carer, it’s very difficult to get flexible hours."

"If you are pregnant and having a complicated pregnancy, it is difficult to get employers to understand."

Join our Action in Belonging, Culture and Diversity (ABCD) Group

Our ABCD group is a place to talk through ideas, create change, and build networks across the profession.

At our meetings we hear from people with lived experience and create a culture of belonging, champion inclusive and authentic leadership and challenge barriers to inclusion and diversity:

If you share our passion for inclusion and diversity, get involved!


Pledge for Inclusion and Wellbeing

Sign our Pledge to demonstrate your support for a profession that's inclusive, celebrates diversity, creates a culture of belonging, and supports pharmacy teams’ health and wellbeing.


Already signed our pledge, but don’t know how to put it into action? We can help!

Our Blogs

You're not alone! Many RPS members have written about their experiences in promoting and fighting for Inclusion and Diversity in pharmacy.

Discover their stories and learn about how their experiences, background and culture have shaped who they are today.