Childcare crisis could push women out of the workforce, says TUC

‘Women workers have borne the brunt of this crisis – both on the frontline and at home,’ says Trades Union Congress

Olivia Petter
Thursday 03 September 2020 10:48 BST

Many working mothers in Britain are having difficulties balancing their careers with childcare, according to a new survey from the Trades Union Congress (TUC).

The research conducted by TUC has found that the pandemic has had an adverse effect on women with children to the degree that it could push them out of the workforce.

According to the survey, 41 per cent of working mothers with children under 10 are struggling to find childcare that will allow them to work.

Almost half (45 per cent) of those surveyed said they cannot get help from friends and family for childcare.

Additionally, 35 per cent said that their usual childminder is not available.

The survey also highlighted how this affects working mothers more than working fathers, given that 43% of women said they have had to combine working at home and childcare.

Meanwhile, the same was true for just 29 per cent of their male partners.

As a result, one in six women have had to reduce their working hours in order to accommodate for childcare.

“Women workers have borne the brunt of this crisis – both on the frontline and at home,” warned TUC’s general secretary Frances Grady.

“But this can’t go on. If we don’t take this childcare crisis seriously, women will be pushed out of the workforce.

“Childcare providers desperately need new government cash to stay open.

“And we need an extension to the job retention scheme for mums and dads who can’t return to work because of childcare responsibilities.”

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