A report from the Parliament Street think tank has said that mothers are being excluded from the workplace due to overpriced childcare and limited provisions. The report, written by Dr Peter Hill, is entitled ‘Wraparound care and the exclusion of mothers from the workplace’ and includes research and analysis into the current levels of support offered to parents. It also provides insights into emerging initiatives such as subsidised crèche facilities for parents, as well as policy recommendations around schemes such as flexible working.
The report found that a lack of affordable childcare is having a negative impact on mothers in the workplace and gives key recommendations of policy solutions for private organisations as well as local and national government to consider.
Other key findings include that the arrival of children inadvertently triggers a gender pay gap, something employers must address. The report also attacked the government’s current provisions, with none of the existing schemes supporting full-time working, forcing many women into part-time work.
Key recommendations to tackle the UK’s unaffordable childcare crisis and prevent mothers from being excluded in the workplace are:
•To encourage direct provision of childcare by employers, including vouchers and subsidy of nursery costs
•Promotion of flexible and home working initiatives by employers
•Increasing government subsidy through childcare vouchers
•De-regulation of childcare provision
Commenting on this report, Sheila Flavell chief operating officer, FDM Group said: “Making childcare more affordable and supporting mothers who choose to return to work is critical for our economy as well as driving diversity within the UK workforce. Mothers, as well as fathers, need to know there are support systems in place, to enable them to return to work after having children, without putting their financial security at risk.
“It’s vital that the government and businesses work together to ensure returners are not discriminated against for taking time out or prevented from pursuing their career due to rigid and expensive childcare resources,” she concluded.