Balancing the Bump - Working mums still prefer part time work - 1230 TWC

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Balancing the Bump – Working mums still prefer part time work

The National Statistics Office published its figures about maternity, motherhood and the workplace today. Some interesting things to ponder when we are all trying to manage parenthood in the workplace.

The majority of women with children under 16 are in the workplace (65%). Women with younger children are less likely to be in the workplace in the first few years.

Women with partners are even more likely to be in the workplace (71.8%). It is women without partners who are less likely to be in the workplace (55.4%). Women with young children and no partner are a significant proportion of the statistics – as the children get older, single parents are more likely to be back in the workplace.

Women are having children later, so the age of Mum’s in the workplace is increasing. So far, the recession has increased unemployment amongst young women, who despite the rumours, are the least likely to be mothers.

23.1% of women with children under sixteen work full time , and 37.7% work part time. Part time work is still the most popular option for working mothers.

After that, 13.7% of mothers have got some kind of ‘flexible working arrangement’ (compared to 12.3% of women without children). The most popular flexible working arrangement is term time working (12.7% of women with children) and a distant second favourite is annual hours contracts (4.3%).

Only 1.3% of women with children have a job sharing arrangement, which is only fractionally more than women who have ‘on call’ working arrangements (1.2%).

From this, there seems to be a big gap between government regulation, employer concerns and what is really going on. This seems to match our hotline experience.

It seems that women returning from maternity leave really do want to return part time, and that job share arrangements are almost as rare as gold dust. Employers are plainly struggling to provide a range of return to work options, relying on part time working or nothing at all as their plan for retaining working mothers.
Source of statistics – Office for National Statistics

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Posted by on 18/07/2011 09:54:38

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About the Author Jackie Groundsell

Jackie Groundsell is known as the queen of women's business networking lunches - the Connector. She supports thousands of small business owners through her events and lunch-time meetings

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