A fifth of working mothers denied flexible working

1 in 5 working mothers have been forced to leave their jobs due to lack of flexible working, according to Working Mums.

26% of the over 2,000 women surveyed had a flexible working request denied, while 12% felt that their employer did not consider their request at all.

68% whose requests were refused said they felt that the refusal was not justified. However, 79% of mothers on maternity did not appeal their employer’s decision to deny flexible working.

Further findings:

  • 78% said they would like their employer to accept flexible working hours upon their return to work
  • 50% on maternity leave have not yet discussed flexible working
  • 41% said they may not return to their former job after maternity leave
  • 50% want more flexible working opportunities.

Rachel Suff, employment adviser at the Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development, said:

“Women now make up nearly half the workforce, and many will have children, and so it’s in employers’ interest to retain working mothers who are a valuable source of talent.

“Unless there is a very strong business case to the contrary, employers should make every effort to accommodate flexible working requests and discuss with an employee what could work in order to retain that person – the cost of re-recruitment and training should serve as a strong disincentive to losing working parents.”

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