Mothers who work part-time earn 22% less an hour than women who work full-time, according to research by the Institute for Public Policy Research (IPPR).
Its Childmind the gap: reforming childcare to support mothers into work report found the pay gap, which it has described as the ’motherhood pay penalty’, is due to women changing employers and occupations as they shift from full-time to part-time work.
The report also found that employment rates for mothers with children aged between three and five are lower than the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development’s average, at 58% compared to 64%.
If the maternal employment rate matched that of women without children, a further 570,000 mothers could be in work.
According to the IPPR, providing free or affordable childcare is the best way to help mothers back into work and tackle the ’motherhood pay penalty’.
Dalia Ben-Galim, associate director at the IPPR, said: “The government needs to focus on supporting mothers into work as a priority and then make it easier for them to increase the hours that they work.
“This is important because the longer the break in employment for mothers, the greater the ’motherhood pay penalty’.
“Providing universal affordable childcare at younger ages is vital for both increasing maternal employment and for reducing the gender pay gap.”