Money Wellness
A working mum participates in an online meeting while looking after two children
category iconcost of living
calendar icon06 Nov 2023

More than one in ten mums quit work due to lack of childcare support

Nearly 250,000 mums in the UK have left a job due to childcare pressures, according to a new report.

The research from Totaljobs and the Fawcett Society – a charity campaigning for gender equality – found 11% of working mums with kids aged four or under have left work because they couldn’t balance their job with looking after their child. This figure rises to 13% among single mothers.

Other findings

  • One in five (19%) working mums have considered leaving their job due to the challenges of trying to balance work with childcare.
  • Over two fifths (41%) of working mothers have turned down a promotion due to childcare pressures. This rises to 49% among single mothers.
  • Working mums are 1.4 times (35% vs 25%) more likely to feel the financial burden of childcare costs compared to working fathers
  • Less than a third (31%) of working mums have access to the flexible working arrangement they need. Women are less likely to have flexible working requests granted than men (39% vs 43%). 69% of women don’t have a flexible working arrangement during their transition back to work.
  • When looking for jobs, 85% of mothers struggle to find a job that accommodates their childcare needs.

Employers making incorrect assumptions

A third of employers wrongly assume that pregnant women and mothers are less interested in career progression. In reality, 76% of women say they are just as ambitious after having a child and 44% are more ambitious.

Outdated prejudices

Jemima Olchawski, chief executive of the Fawcett Society, said:

“Too often, outdated prejudices and assumptions mean that women face unnecessary and harmful attitudes that hold them back. This results in many women stuck in roles that are below their capabilities.”

She added:

“It isn’t good enough to have supportive policies on paper, businesses need to make those a reality in the workplace and create genuinely family-friendly cultures.”

Avatar of Rebecca Routledge

Rebecca Routledge

A qualified journalist for over 15 years with a background in financial services. Rebecca is Money Wellness’s consumer champion, helping you improve your financial wellbeing by providing information on everything from income maximisation to budgeting and saving tips.

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