ALMOST nine out of ten Scots are unhappy with their work-life balance, according to a survey, which has led to demands that employers do more to encourage flexible working.

The research, for the Family Friendly Working Scotland campaign, found 12 per cent of those asked said their work-life balance was “just right”, while 22 per cent felt they had the right balance of time and money for their family to thrive.

Four in ten working parents said they would prefer more flexible hours, while nearly a third would like to go home on time more often and nearly a quarter would like to work their agreed hours without pressure to do more. Many said they had missed out on special family moments, such as attending school plays or just putting their children to bed because of work.

Nikki Slowey, programme director for Family Friendly Working Scotland, said the findings were disheartening.

She said: “As parents we want to support our children through the many milestones in their lives.

“But balancing this support alongside the demands of work can be very challenging, especially if your employer gives you little or no flexibility, or shows no understanding.”

Minister for Childcare and Early Years, Mark McDonald, said: “This poll shows how difficult it can be for parents.

“The Scottish Government is determined to do all we can to ensure Scotland’s workplaces offer flexible working arrangements.”

The UK Government is also being urged to do more as part of National Work Life Week, but Westminster cannot make demands that employers be more family friendly, unless it gets its own house in order, according to the SNP MP who was censured for taking her children to a Westminster committee in July.

Kirsty Blackman put her daughter on her lap, in breach of a rule which says only MPs may sit at the committee table, during a meeting of the Scottish Affairs Select Committee. She said: “We don’t have the high ground as MPs.”

She is urging colleagues to act on the recent Good Parliament report by Professor Sarah Childs which called for more family friendly working hours and creche facilities at Westminster.

But the Aberdeen North MP insisted small measures, that need not be costly for employers, could make a big difference.

“Employers will get more out of employees if they are less stressed and feel they have their work-life balance as close to sorted as possible,” she said.

“It can be simply about being reasonable – for instance telling people their shifts further in advance doesn’t cost the employer anything, but can make a huge difference to families who have childcare to plan.

“Some employers have an almost nonsensical ban on swapping shifts, but that shouldn’t be difficult if people are on the same grade.”