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Working families report confirms childcare and flexible working are still key issues



"Care: parents’ ongoing trilemma

Parents and carers need affordable, appropriate care for their child, available at the right time, to fulfil their potential in the labour market and contribute to the UK’s economic success.

• For parents that took part in the study childcare affordability was a barrier for 23%, availability was a barrier for 6% and finding appropriate childcare was an issue for 5%.

• A high number of parents (76%) would consider their childcare responsibilities before taking a new job. This was not confined to mothers alone; 83% of mothers and 68% of fathers said that childcare would have a key bearing on their decision.

• Working parents and carers need practical care solutions for the whole family. Almost a quarter (including fathers and mothers, and millennials) of parents that took part in the study have caring responsibilities for people over 18; expected to rise to nearly one third in five years’ time.

• Seven in ten (69%) of carers agreed that it was easier to ask for time off when it was for childcare reasons, as opposed to eldercare.

Who works and who cares?

The ‘father working full time’ model is still prevalent. This suggests fathers and mothers — for both of whom family is their highest priority — are not afforded a great deal of choice over who works and who cares.

• Most fathers (90%) in the survey worked full time, whilst 51% of mothers did. Only 4% of men worked part time, whereas 40% of women did.

• Fathers were more likely than mothers to make use of workplace and working time flexibility. Twice as many mothers than fathers worked flexibly by reducing their hours.

• Fathers reported higher incomes than mothers. More than a third of mothers (36%) earned less than £15,000 per year, an effect of part time work."