One-third of mothers struggle to cover the cost of childcare
A recent survey of 1,000 UK mothers has revealed a continuing lack of support from businesses when it comes to balancing family and work.
The survey, undertaken by HR training providers DPG, revealed that 9 in 10 mothers (87%) faced issues when returning to work after maternity leave. The most common problems mothers faced were:
- Over half (54%) struggle to balance time between childcare and work
- 52% feel guilty about leaving their child
- One-third (33%) struggle financially with the cost of childcare
- 17% feel marginalised or excluded by colleagues
- 14% said their colleagues are unsupportive and inflexible
- Over one in ten (14%) miss out on promotions because of maternity leave
The research also revealed the extent to which women are still bearing the burden of childcare when it comes to newborns and young children. On average, mothers take 12.5 months parental leave after the birth of a child. In comparison, two-thirds of men (67%) took just two weeks or less leave, and one in five (22%) took no leave at all. This means that women are taking an average of 24 times more parental leave than men.
Only half (51%) of mothers were satisfied with the support they received from their workplace when returning from parental leave. Survey respondents gave indications of what companies could be doing to help the transition back to work easier:
- Almost half (46%) want more flexible working hours
- Nearly one-third (30%) want more paid maternity leave
- Over one-quarter (26%) would like to work from home
- One in five (21%) want their employer to provide an onsite crèche
- 17% want more childcare vouchers
Companies that don’t do more to support mothers returning to work risk losing substantial portions of their workforce. Currently, two-thirds of women (68%) are unable to return to work full time after maternity leave, and one in five (19%) finds it necessary to leave their position altogether.
Sarah Aubrey, CEO at DPG says about the research:
“It’s important to recognise how far we have come and how far we still have to go when it comes to gender equality. Our research highlights important issues around the 2019 theme #Balanceforbetter, by indicating that although women are still bearing most of the childcare responsibility for newborns and young children, their extra work is not being met with adequate support to help them transition back into the workplace.