Belfast Telegraph

Greater flexibility for mothers' working conditions urged

More than two thirds of mothers who stay at home with young children would go back to work if flexible working around childcare was an option, a new study has found.

A survey of 1,600 mothers also revealed that more than a third of those in a job would work more hours if they had better childcare arrangements.

The report, by social enterprise group Digital Mums, and the Centre for Economics and Business Research, said women could work millions more hours if businesses do more to offer flexible working.

Kathryn Tyler, co-founder of Digital Mums, said: "In 2016, women shouldn't have to choose between a rewarding career and motherhood.

"While for some mums staying at home is a choice, our report shows that for a larger number their hands are tied because of a lack of flexible work options.

"Shockingly, for those who do find flexible work, it comes at a cost - compromised skills and experience.

"In today's highly connected world, there's simply no need for businesses to stick to an archaic 9-5 desk policy. We need a societal shift to embrace flexible working as the 'norm' and not the exception.

"This will not only help mums find rewarding careers that fit their skills and family life; it will help businesses tap into an amazing talent pool and, ultimately, increase output for the economy."