Shared parenting and flexible work extension ‘good for women’

Almost three quarters of working mums think shared parenting and the extension of the right to request flexible working to all employees will be a good thing for women in the workplace, according to a poll.

The poll of around 200 women found that 73% believed the new proposals, unveiled by deputy prime minister Nick Clegg earlier this month, would help women while 20% thought they wouldn’t make a difference. Seven per cent weren’t sure.

One woman said: “I believe this will help women a great deal if employers are more willing to be flexible with working hours. As a single mum I know how difficult it can be to juggle childcare and work.”

Another said: “Happier and more fulfilled mothers means happier children today and a better society tomorrow.”

Clegg says the new legislation to be introduced by 2015 will boost productivity, help women back into work, reduce any stigma attached to flexible working and bring a net benefit of £222.5 million to UK employers, as well as heralding a culture shift in the workplace.

Gillian Nissim, founder of, said: “ believes the decision to extend the right to request flexible working to all staff will help to create a work culture where flexible working is the norm. Research report after research report has shown that flexible working, when adopted fully and not just on an ad hoc basis, can be of benefit to both employers and employees, reducing absence and office overheads, increasing retention rates and improving employee motivation.”

She added tha the proposals for shared parenting would “give parents greater choice over parental leave in the first year of their child’s life and could encourage more sharing of domestic and caring responsibilities and could help to reduce discrimination against women in the workplace.”’s annual survey, released yesterday, shows 43% of mums would consider sharing maternity leave with their partner.

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