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Dads still reluctant to take up flexible working!

Only 20% of working mums’ partners work flexibly despite the fact that legislation on flexible working applies equally to them, according to www.workingmums.co.uk annual survey.

4% of partners worked part time and 16% had some other kind of flexible working arrangement, according to the survey of over 2,000 working mums.

The figures show that it is still overwhelmingly women who are seeking flexible working in order to balance family and work responsibilities despite moves to encourage shared parenting and despite the fact that over 35% are the main breadwinner!

Flexible working was the most important factor helping women get back to work after maternity leave or a career break and a lack of new flexible jobs was the single biggest barrier they faced.

Childcare was still another major barrier for women returning to work after a career break. Some 59% of working mums said childcare costs were a factor in stopping them going back to work. Many were getting around the problem by asking their own parents to look after their children.

The survey shows the career penalty women are paying by not going back to work. Some 53% of those who had taken a career break to bring up children said they could not find a job in their field.

The economic recession had also had an impact. Some 40% of mums said they had gone back to work earlier than expected because of cuts and the rising cost of living. And 54% thought employers were discriminating more against mums in the current economic climate. Some 29% of those who had been made redundant recently said that they felt it was linked either to their pregnancy, maternity leave or being a working mum.

The survey also asked women about whether they had considered setting up their own business to get greater flexibility. Sixty-two per cent had done so with 29% saying they were working on a business plan and were in the early stages of setting up a business. The biggest barrier they faced was access to funding.

Have you experienced problems with your partner not considering flexible working? Or have you had problems yourself in finding the right kind to job to fit in with your work/life balance? We’d like to hear about your experiences.

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