46% of mums being made redundant blame childcare issues during the pandemic

A new survey of 19,950 mothers and pregnant women by Pregnant Then Screwed reveals the  impact of childcare closures on working mums.

letter cubes spelling 'redundancy'


Forty six per cent of working mums who have been made redundant or expect to be made redundant during the coronavirus pandemic have said that a lack of childcare provision played a role in their redundancy, according to a survey of nearly 20,000 by the organisation Pregnant Then Screwed.

Seventy-two per cent of mothers have had to work fewer hours because of childcare issues and 65% of mothers who have been furloughed say a lack of childcare was the reason.

Eighty-one per cent said they need childcare to be able to work, but 51% do not have the necessary childcare in place to enable them to do their job.

Joeli Brearley, CEO and founder of Pregnant Then Screwed, said: “On the 1st August we are expecting to hear from Boris [Johnson] that employers will be given ‘more discretion’ to consider how their staff can continue working safely. But this completely ignores the realities facing women, that 51% of mothers simply do not have the childcare in place to be able to return to work outside of their home. This lack of childcare is destroying women’s careers, they are being made redundant, they are cutting their hours, and they are being treated negatively all because they are picking up the slack.”

The survey also shows 45% of pregnant workers working outside of the home currently have not had an individual risk assessment conducted, increasing to 52% for BAME pregnant women. This is despite being classed as ‘clinically vulnerable’ by the government. A further 46% of these pregnant women do not feel safe from Covid-19 when they are at work, increasing to 59% for BAME pregnant women. Forty six per cent of women who have been suspended from work because of their pregnancy have been suspended on incorrect terms, including 33% on furlough, and another 13% on sick pay or told to take holiday or to start maternity pay.

Brearley added: “Your employer must prove through your individual risk assessment that you will be safe in the workplace and that you are able to socially distance including on your commute. If they can’t do this then they must allow you to work from home and where that’s not possible they should suspend you on full pay. Not furlough, not sick pay, not enforced early maternity leave. It is simply not ok to continue treating pregnant workers as collateral damage throughout this pandemic, when we know that at least five pregnant women have already died from the virus. The confusion surrounding this is impalpable, it’s the law, it’s women’s legal rights the same ones that have been in place since 1999 with the management of health and safety at work regulations.”

The survey shows 74% of mums have had their earning potential reduced because of a lack of access to childcare. 44% of self-employed mothers have had to give up their childcare space during the pandemic, which is up from 33% for employed mothers.

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