Almost 20% of working mums have been forced to leave their jobs because a flexible working request has been turned down, according to the latest annual survey by Workingmums.co.uk. 35% of mothers on maternity leave said the reason given for turning down the request was not one which is allowable under flexible working legislation – but few appeal as the success rate is only 5%.
The availability of flexible working is the key career development issue for working mums, with some element of homeworking the most valued, particularly for those wanting to work full time. 50% women currently on maternity leave also said childcare costs could prevent them returning to work.
Many employers are failing to retain the skills of working mums after maternity leave and 50% of working mums said they had not discussed flexible working before going on leave. Research has shown that the ability to be more in control of their hours – not necessarily to work fewer hours – is a key driver for those women returning to work after having children.
More details of the survey are available here.