The independent London newspaper

Why flexible working doesn’t add up for mums

14 September, 2018

• WEDNESDAY September 12 marked the day mothers started working for free compared with their male counterparts.

According to the Institute for Fiscal Studies the earning gap between mothers and fathers widens over the first 20 years after a mother returns to work, at which point mothers earn about 30 per cent less per hour than similarly educated fathers. This pay gap is due to a system that isn’t working for mums.

UK childcare is some of the most expensive in the world, equating to about one-third of the average household income. A report last week by the TUC showed the cost of childcare has risen three times that of wages over the last decade.

When childcare is so prohibitively expensive it doesn’t make sense for many mothers to return to their job. Until legislation financially rewards mothers to take parental leave more than fathers, we will never see true equality in the home, resulting in stark in­equality in the workplace.

When flexible working is a necessity for many mums, yet less than 10 per cent of jobs are advertised as flexible and half of those working flexibly say that this has hindered their chance of progression, we start to see that the system is working against mothers.

So to highlight this issue and call for change, we held an Equali-TEA party at Cuckooz Nest with over 50 working mums. We have renamed September 12 as Mum’s Equal Pay Day and are encouraging people to share images of themselves on social media drinking a cup of tea with the caption: “Mothers want equali-TEA in the workplace.”

Cuckooz Nest


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