As many as a quarter of working mums who lost their jobs during the first lockdown say that this was due to childcare issues.
The workingmums.co.uk survey of over 1,000 mums, revealed that 61% of those who had asked to be furloughed because of childcare issues were turned down, compared to just 20% who were granted furlough.
And, although this time around schools and childcare have remained open, just 48% of mums said their childcare was back to normal, with 14% lacking wraparound care and 10% lacking help with drop-offs.
Others had children with special needs who were staying at home or had no access to school, some had chosen to keep their children at home due to anxieties about family members’ health and some had left work to look after their children.
Of those surveyed, a quarter had used parental leave and/or annual leave in order to get them through the lockdown period. Nineteen per cent felt they would have to rely on unpaid parental leave or annual leave in the event of schools being closed in the future, although 37% thought their employer would be flexible and understanding. Eight per cent thought they could lose their job if schools and nurseries had to close or they could not work due to a lockdown.
Gillian Nissim, founder of workingmums.co.uk, commented on the findings, “We are very concerned about the impact the pandemic has had and is continuing to have on women’s jobs. It is vital that this impact is tracked and that measures are put in place to safeguard women’s jobs where this is possible, to reskill women whose jobs have gone and to take into account the centrally important role of childcare in women’s ability to work.
“Our survey also shows a very divided picture on the employer side, although some employers are clearly under greater stress than others. Employers who go the extra mile for their employees will be in a better position, with a more motivated and loyal staff, after the pandemic is over.”
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