Two thirds of UK workers would not recommend family for a role at work

  • Two-thirds (58%) of UK workers wouldn’t recommend a family member for a role
  • One in five (20%) wouldn’t trust their relative’s professional abilities
  • One in five (18%) think those who work with relatives earn more
  • Half (46%) of UK workers consider a parent their most influential role model
  • Two-thirds (64%) of those who do work with family find it successful
  • Read more about working with family here:

13 August 2018 – UK – New figures released today indicate that employees across the UK don’t want to work with family, leading them to actively avoid referring them for roles at work.

The study of 5,795 workers released today by leading online jobs board totaljobs, explored current experiences and feelings towards working with family.

While 69% have worked with colleagues who are related to each other, and just under half (42%) have experienced working with family personally, a shocking 58% would avoid recommending family for jobs within their company.

A third (31%) of people just weren’t comfortable with the idea of working with family, 20% claimed they wouldn’t trust their relative’s professional abilities and 15% were worried they would lose credibility among their colleagues.

Relative perceptions

However, of those who have worked with their family, a whopping 82% claim their colleagues saw them like any other work mate, with no bias on ability or credibility.

Additionally, of those who work with people who are related, two-thirds considered it ‘normal’ – although 14% claimed they had to treat them differently because of a connection to a senior colleague, and 12% simply found it awkward.

The picture is more mixed when looking at career progression, relationships with colleagues or benefits:

“People who work with relatives…” Agree Disagree
Progress faster 31% 30%
Earn more 18% 39%
Don’t have to work as hard 21% 48%
Are less trust worthy 18% 47%
Get better benefits 29% 30%
Have better relationships with colleagues 20% 33%

Looking up and ahead

Despite the apparent lack of confidence in family at work, the research shows that nearly half (46%) of UK workers have considered a parent as their most influential role model.

Mums and Dads are credited with having more impact on a person’s career choices than a former manager (10%), a colleague (5%) or a teacher (4%).

The study also reveals that of the 42% who have experienced working with family, 1 in 3 (31%) have done so with their parents and 34% have worked with their sibling.

While the majority of relatives have worked for the same employer (57%), 11% have worked together in a family business and another 10% launched their business with family.

Family matters

The data shows that despite difficulties, family businesses remain a positive experience. While 63% found it stressful, nearly 9 in 10 (86%) found it so successful, and rewarding, that over a third (37%) would carry on doing it and a further 11% would consider launching a new family business in the future.

The biggest problem of working within a family business involved struggling to keep life and work separate (30%). However, a third (34%) claimed they felt closer to their family thanks to working with them.

Martin Talbot, Group Marketing Director at totaljobs comments, “Today’s findings show that while there are natural difficulties in working with family, most of the challenges are imagined rather than real, and many across the UK are finding it a rewarding experience to work with their nearest and dearest.

Maintaining a safe and enjoyable work environment can be more difficult, because people perceive that their colleagues will have a belief that nepotism prevails or benefits will be different. However, in reality, only one in five people think those who are related have it easier in the workplace.”

– ENDS –

About totaljobs:

Formed in 1999, Totaljobs is one of UK’s leading job boards, attracting 14 million visits and nearly 4 million applications from qualified jobseekers every month. 120,000 new candidates register with us each month who have an average of 190,000 jobs to choose from, posted by thousands of employers.

In May 2018, totaljobs partnered with Jobsite to become the UK’s largest hiring platform offering employers the opportunity to advertise vacancies across both platforms from one system, and access to almost half of the UK working population.

Totaljobs and Jobsite are part of the StepStone Group, one of the world’s leading e-recruitment businesses. With a head office in London and offices in Birmingham, Havant, Cardiff, Leeds, Manchester, Nottingham and Glasgow, StepStone in the UK comprises totaljobs and Jobsite plus nine additional job boards. These include:, CatererGlobal, CWJobs, Milkround, CityJobs, RetailChoice, CareerStructure, JustEngineers and emedcareers. Together these brands provide access to 17.6 million searchable candidate profiles.

Visit the totaljobs website: