The Women’s Equality Party today criticised the failure of government and businesses to address the needs of working parents, as a report finds that parents - and mothers in particular - are penalised for working part time.
Commenting on the report, WE spokesperson Mandu Reid said:
“Today’s report reveals just how hard it is for working parents to thrive. Women make up an extraordinary 92% of part-time workers, and in the U.K. that means lower pay, fewer opportunities for career progression and less job security.
“Coupled with austerity policies that penalise families, exorbitant childcare costs and pressure to work long hours, the U.K. is fast becoming a bad place to raise children. Unless the government changes its approach, parents will continue to struggle and so will our economy. Put simply, it's a lose-lose situation that negatively affects the whole of society.”
The 2019 Modern Families Index, published today by Working Families and Bright Horizons, reveals that only a quarter of parents feel that they have the right balance between work, family and income. In addition, parents who work part time have only a 21% chance of promotion compared to 45% for their full time counterparts, with mothers waiting on average two years longer than fathers.
The index also found that 86% of the parents they surveyed wanted to work flexibly and yet less than half of working parents do so. Moreover, despite all employees having a statutory right to flexible working arrangements, 37% of parents reported that they do not have this option at their workplace.
Reid continued, “The fact that flexible working remains out of reach for many parents reveals the abject failure of businesses and other political parties to prioritise the issue of work life balance. Unfortunately, many employers still regard offering flexible or part time hours as a ‘favour’, rather than as something which can benefit both employer and employees.
“The Women’s Equality Party is campaigning for a better balance between work and family life. We will introduce universal childcare, properly compensated parental leave and flexible working as standard, so that all parents can share in the joys and responsibilities of parenting. Because equality is better for everyone.”