18% of working mums leave their jobs because of a declined flexible-working request


Almost a fifth (18%) of working mother respondents have been forced to leave their jobs because a flexible-working request has been turned down, according to research by Workingmums.co.uk.

Its survey of 2,000 women also found that 50% of respondents who are currently on maternity leave believe that childcare costs could prevent them from returning to work.

The research also found that:

  • 41% of respondents who are on maternity leave believe that they might not return to their job if their employer refuses a flexible-working request.
  • 50% of respondents on maternity leave did not discuss flexible working before going on leave.
  • 26% of respondents who are working mothers have had flexible-working requests turned down, and 27% believe that the reason for refusal was not one that was allowable under flexible-working legislation.

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Gillian Nissim, founder at Workingmums.co.uk, said: “When I founded Workingmums.co.uk 10 years ago, it was difficult to find flexible new jobs and many women who were working flexibly felt their careers had been side-lined. We’ve come a long way and many now see the huge business benefits of creating a more family friendly workforce.

“But there is still more to be done to create the kind of workplaces that work for people who need flexibility, for whatever reason. That means encouraging and supporting employers to implement flexible working so that they do not lose employees who typically have years of experience in their roles.”