Page last updated at 12:43 GMT, Wednesday, 16 September 2009 13:43 UK

Flexible work 'key' for mothers

Mother and child
Many respondents had considered setting up their own business

Flexible working remains important to mothers despite uncertainty over jobs in the recession, a survey suggests.

Some 79% of the 1,677 women from across the UK who responded to a poll on the WorkingMums website said it was a top priority for their careers.

A full-time job with flexible hours was the ideal situation for 85%, ahead of some home working (54%).

Just under a third considered extended maternity pay a sign of a family-friendly employer.

Some 54% of survey respondents said they would accept a less well paid job in return for flexibility.

Employers who want to be prepared for the eventual upturn in the economy would do well to listen to their voices rather than risk losing them to more forward-thinking rivals
Gillian Nissim, WorkingMums

There was little change from last year in the number (13%) forced to take a career break due to problems around finding work that fit with their family life.

Some 45% said they had considered setting up their own business as a way around the flexibility problem.

Retaining staff

The likes of British Gas, Morgan Stanley, Coca-Cola, RBS and the major supermarket chains all offer flexible working options.

And while there is no legal requirement, since April parents of children up to age 16 or parents of disabled children up to age 18 have had the right to request it.

But according to the WorkingMums survey, 32% said they did not have any idea about the new rules.

Of those mothers who were not working, 73% saw a lack of appropriate flexible jobs as a barrier to them returning.

WorkingMums.co.uk founder Gillian Nissim said flexible working was the "key issue that employers must grapple with if they want to retain the kind of skills offered by working mums".

"The recession has not reduced the urgency of this issue for working parents and employers who want to be prepared for the eventual upturn in the economy would do well to listen to their voices rather than risk losing them to more forward-thinking rivals."



Print Sponsor


RELATED INTERNET LINKS
The BBC is not responsible for the content of external internet sites


FEATURES, VIEWS, ANALYSIS
Has China's housing bubble burst?
How the world's oldest clove tree defied an empire
Why Royal Ballet principal Sergei Polunin quit

BBC navigation

BBC © 2013 The BBC is not responsible for the content of external sites. Read more.

This page is best viewed in an up-to-date web browser with style sheets (CSS) enabled. While you will be able to view the content of this page in your current browser, you will not be able to get the full visual experience. Please consider upgrading your browser software or enabling style sheets (CSS) if you are able to do so.

Americas Africa Europe Middle East South Asia Asia Pacific