Working mums do a 15-hour day

Working mums do a 15-hour day, says a poll. Plus grandparents demand a charter of rights over childcare and other news.

Working mums do at least a 15-hour day, according to a poll.
The poll of 2,000 mothers by Olay total effects found that mothers average around 5 and a half hours at work a day, spend 42 minutes on household chores, 23 minutes on errands for the family, 58 minutes on the school run and taking children to other activities and two hours and 47 minutes on entertaining children, leaving two hours and 47 minutes for themselves, most of this after the kids have gone to bed.
Some 88% say they could not do it all if they couldn’t multi-task. Many are increasing their paid work in response to the credit crunch with 29% doing longer hours and 73% saying shopping was taking longer as they hunted for bargains.
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Childcare needs improving
Some 40% of daycare for children is rated satisfactory or inadequate and must improve, according to an Ofsted report.
The three-year survey said only 3% of daycare, including nurseries, childminders and after-school clubs, was outstanding, but the number judged good or outstanding had risen from 53% in 2005/6 to 64%. The number of childminders rated inadequate has tripled to 6% since the last report and the proportion judged good or outstanding has fallen from 65% to 59%. However, the quality of nurseries has improved. There was wide local variation in the figures with 47% in the most deprived areas rating satisfactory or inadequate.

The chief inspector of Ofsted, Christine Gilbert, said the new curriculum for under-fives, being introduced in September, may be too complex for many providers, but the Government said it would improve standards.
The most common of the serious problems Ofsted found on inspections was staff who were not properly vetted or trained.
Read moreGrandparents demand more rights
Grandparents are demanding a charter of rights over childcare duties, according to a new website.
The site,, has been set up to advise grandparents on issues such as how to negotiate the amount of childcare they want to do, whether they should be paid for it and how they should discipline their grandchildren.

The group is creating a Grandparents’ Charter which covers these issues. A recent report by the Centre for Researching into Parenting and Children at Oxford University found that children who were looked after by grandparents were happier than those who did not have grandparents involved in their care. Other research has found that some grandparents are beginning to complain that they are expected to do too much unpaid childcare.

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Employers ‘need to ease’ flexible work process
Companies will be encouraged to streamline the process of applying for flexible working, according to the Government.

It announced this week that it is beginning a consultation which will ask companies to look at ways to make the process easier and quicker in the lead-up to changes being introduced next April. Suggestions being made include scrapping the need for employers to write formally to advise staff that their request has been accepted. However, the Family and Parenting Institute says it is important for employees to have a written record of an agreement and that this is not the most time-consuming aspect of considering a flexible working request.
From April, parents of children up to the age of 16 will be allowed to apply for flexible working. Currently only parents of children up to the age of six and carers can apply.
The Government is also planning an awareness-raising campaign for employees who may not know they are entitled to request flexible working. Those to be targeted include fathers.
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Childminders dropping out
Over 11% of childminders have given up their work over the last four years, according to Ofsted.

Some blame increasing bureaucracy and red tape, but others say the reasons are complicated and could include the growth of flexible working, meaning there is more choice of employment for people who have children.
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Women sabotaging career prospects, claims study

Women are sabotaging their promotion prospects by not selling their achievements enough, according to research.
The study by Shannon Goodson, author of The Psychology of Sales Call Reluctance, found that women were likely to think that selling themselves was “unladylike” and “morally suspect”. Women tended to believe that hard work alone would lead to promotion. Men were much more likely to push themselves forward and even lie about their achievements.
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Maternity leave spells less promotion for Australian women

Two out of three Australian women in the public sector do not get promoted after they return to work from maternity leave, according to a study.
The Australian Public Service Commission study suggested causes might be that senior positions were not offered flexibly or that women were finding it too hard balancing work and family to go for promotions.
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BP scraps compressed hours
BP has scrapped its compressed working plans in the face of the economic downturn.
It used to offer employees the option of a 9-day fortnight, but has decided to abandon this option, despite a growth in employers offering flexible working.
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Stay-at-home mums save Britain £1bn

More than two thirds of stay-at-home mothers do unpaid community work for at least two hours a week, according to a study by Tesco Baby & Toddler Club and Mother & Baby magazine.
The researchers claim their work saves the country £1bn a year.
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‘Managers need to be more flexible to break economic gloom’

British managers need to be more flexible if they are to survive the economic downtown, according to a survey commissioned by BT.

The study, by the Centre for Future Studies, responded to other research showing the UK is behind many of its European counterparts on offering flexible working. Less than half of UK firms offer flexible working compared to 86% of Spanish firms, said a poll by MORI.
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