Think tank Centre for Progressive Policy (CPP) has analysed gender-based inequalities in the workplace in its report ‘What Women Want’ and found that women are ‘disproportionately the ones making sacrifices in their careers to meet these caring responsibilities’. As a result, the CPP reports this creates gaps in gender pay and pensions as well as financial insecurity and instability for millions of women across Britain. It calls childcare demands ‘detrimental’ to both individual women and to the wider workforce and recommends more flexible working in Britain.
Only 9.7 billion hours of unpaid childcare a year is provided by men in the UK, according to a survey of 1,000 men and 1,000 women. One in four (26 per cent) women providing unpaid childcare have cut their hours at work. The CPP report found more flexible working would boost the earnings of women by £28.4 billion a year, deliver new work opportunities for up to five million women and boost the UK economy of more than £60 billion a year.
Dean Hochlaf, social policy expert at CPP, said: “Women cannot continue to be denied opportunities in the labour market because of the unfair and unequal division of unpaid care.
“Action is needed to improve access to formal care services, adapt working practices to the needs of those who provide unpaid care and to spread unpaid care responsibilities more evenly between men and women.
"The economic gains for women and wider society could be immense."
Women say they would like to be supported with professional childcare alternatives. The CPP has found high childcare costs, staff shortages, and childcare provision that ‘does not reflect the demands of paid employment’ has left a substantial proportion of mothers in the UK struggling to get suitable childcare.
CPP research reveals 20 per cent of the women providing childcare are prevented from working more hours, despite wanting to work more. Some 40 per cent of women ranked more government support, in the form of state-funded care provision, as most responsible for helping those with unpaid care needs who want to take on extra hours of paid work.
The research also reveals millions of women want to work more hours, if only they had more flexible working opportunities.
The think tank recommends a national target is set to make sure 70 per cent of non-emergency jobs are advertised as flexible by 2025.
The story, as reported by daynurseries.co.uk can be found here.