Parents ‘facing impossible choices’

Parents are facing impossible choices and discrimination in work, according to Working Families annual helpline report. 

Parents are facing impossible choices and discrimination in work, according to Working Families annual helpline report. 

The report, based on the 3,000 parents and callers contacting Working Families in 2011, highlights concerns about:

– Employers imposing changes to working patterns which undermine parents’ ability to combine work and childcare

– High childcare costs and tax credit changes which are forcing parents out of work 

– Continuing pregnancy and maternity discrimination.

It suggests employers are less willing to consider a variety of working patterns and are imposing changes on their workforce.

Eight per cent of calls in 2011 concerned pregnancy and maternity discrimination, including callers dismissed when they told their employer they were pregnant,  demoted on their return to work, and unfairly selected for redundancy.

Sarah Jackson, Chief Executive of Working Families commented: “Parents trying to make work pay are facing impossible choices because of reduced state support for childcare and a lack of understanding from employers. Flexible working is good for business, but the message isn’t getting through:  employers are imposing changes to working patterns which aren’t compatible with childcare and which will force parents out of work.  We continue to be shocked by the blatant discrimination against pregnant women and those on maternity leave by some dinosaur employers." 





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