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The majority of parents feel working mums are being forced to work longer hours, according to a Workingmums.co.uk poll.
The poll found 84% of mums felt working mums were facing pressure to work longer hours. Just 11% felt they weren’t being pressured and five per cent were not sure.
The poll results come after government moves on childcare support aimed at supporting longer hours at work, including the doubling of free childcare for three and four year olds, and changes to universal credit aimed at encouraging single parents working part time to do more hours.
On the other hand, cuts to tax credits announced in the Budget could put more financial pressure on those on lower wages. The Institute for Fiscal Studies said they could act as a disincentive to work for some.
Economic pressure is a driver for many to increase their hours or work more than one job, alongside a desire for career progression and concerns that part timers are less likely to rise up the career ladder. Technology is also helping many women to work longer hours by allowing them to work more flexibly. The number of mums who work full time has steadily increased in the last few years. Nearly a third of working mums surveyed for Workingmums.co.uk’s annual survey last year had returned to work full time.
The survey also showed finances were a major reason for working longer hours or taking less time out after having a baby. Some 46% of mums said they returned to work earlier than expected due to the economic situation. Seventy per cent said they were returning to work for economic reasons.
Recent surveys have also shown younger women are worried about the pressures they might face to manage family life and work. A report by graduate careers consultancy the Bright Network published earlier this year found over 40 per cent of female students from top universities in the UK are already worried about how they will balance work and a family in the future.
Moreover, a third of full-time workers say that managing work-life has become more difficult in the last five years, according to a recent global study by EY.
The online survey of close to 9,700 full-time workers at companies of varying sizes in eight countries found younger generations and parents were harder hit than others. The top drivers of work-life challenges were stagnant salaries and rising expenses, increasing hours and more responsibilities at work and at home.
Workingmums.co.uk’s annual survey showed 74% of mums said they were logging on to emails outside of their working hours, with 48% doing so regularly.