United Kingdom

Denied flexible working requests force working mums to hand in notice

October 2016


A significant number of working mothers are having to leave their jobs because of denied flexible working requests, a new survey has revealed.

Workingmums.co.uk surveyed 2,000 women and found that 18 per cent had to leave work due to inflexible working arrangements whilst 50 per cent of women currently on maternity leave are concerned that rising childcare costs could prevent them from returning to work all together.

Jeff Fox, Principal at Aon Employee Benefits said the numbers of women who may not return to work due to childcare costs was a ‘critical business issue’ and called on the government to clarify their plans to introduce the new tax-free supported childcare scheme from April 2017.

The workingmums.co.uk survey also found that 41 per cent of those on maternity leave are concerned their flexible working requests will be turned down following a return to work and 50 per cent said they did not discuss flexible working prior to going on leave. 26 per cent of working mums have already had flexible working requests denied and 27 per cent suspect the reason for denied flexible working was not entirely legitimate.

Commenting on the findings, Gillian Nissim, Founder at Workingmums.co.uk said: “When I founded Workingmums.co.uk 10 years ago, it was difficult to find flexible new jobs and many women who were working flexibly felt their careers had been side-lined. We’ve come a long way and many now see the huge business benefits of creating a more family friendly workforce.

“But there is still more to be done to create the kind of workplaces that work for people who need flexibility, for whatever reason. That means encouraging and supporting employers to implement flexible working so that they do not lose employees who typically have years of experience in their roles.”

Fox added: “Employers should not fear flexible working but should instead weigh up the return on investment of keeping key talent against losing such resource. The cost to recruit, on-board and retrain is usually far higher than retaining existing employees.”



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