Workingmums.co.uk, which conducted the McDonalds-sponsored survey, said this could be due to the rising number of women (over 17%) who are the main breadwinners in their family. Only in a small number of cases is this because their partner has been made redundant or had to reduce their hours. In addition, 17% of women said their partner works flexibly, with 4% working part-time.
Gillian Nissim, founder of Working Mums, said the findings are interesting as take-up of shared parental leave is not expected to be significant. “This perhaps reflects a growing awareness among couples of the link between equality in the workplace and at home. It is vital that policy supports parents in having greater choice over how they balance work and family life,” she said.
Of those surveyed, 53% of women said flexible working would help their career development and a third said homeworking is their preferred model of working, something that would encourage them to work full time. Positively, most women got the flexibility they requested from their employer, but 23% did not and 11% felt their request had not been seriously considered.
The survey also found that over half (53%) of working mothers want part-time work and 15% of part-timers work at least 6-8 hours a week, while only 4% job share. Meanwhile 14% of respondents are on zero hours contracts, where they are not guaranteed a minimum amount of work and pay. Of those, 54% prefer the arrangement as it gives them the flexibility they need, but 17% reported that it made arranging childcare difficult. A further 28% agreed childcare is tricky to arrange but still enjoy the flexibility zero hours contracts offer.
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