Great news. More women than ever, 72.1%, are working in Britain.
This isn’t a huge surprise to me. Most women I know have at least one job and a “side hustle” – small projects or businesses they run outside of work either for fun or a bit of extra cash.
The Office for National Statistics figures revealed there are also more working mums than at any other time since these records began.
While I welcome this news, the reality is that many working parents, especially single ones, can often find themselves drowning under the weight of trying to juggle too many things. This is borne out by ONS stats which show there’s a 70% increase in women working in part-time and self-employed roles since 2006. Plus, 671,000 have second jobs, compared to only 466,000 men.
More women in work means more women are contributing taxes to the economy – but who is contributing to help us working mums as we juggle with our daily lives?
Nursery fees are still eye-wateringly expensive and accessing help from the Government is complex, bureaucratic and things often aren’t what they appear. I couldn’t wait for my youngest to turn three because I knew he would be entitled to some free nursery care.
However, the catch was, I could only claim it from the term AFTER his third birthday. This meant that rather than being eligible when he turned three in the April, he wasn’t eligible until the September, which meant I had to pay for his term-time nursery for another three months. How is that fair?
Compared to many of our European cousins, Britain is so far behind when it comes to things like flexible working – you have to make a strong case to your employer and even then they can say no.
A good friend once applied for flexible working, she was turned down and the next thing she knew, her P45 arrived.
So while it’s great we have more working mums, the Government needs more policies to support them so they and their children can have a better quality of life.
Maybe it would help if more of these jobs that women are getting were in local or national government, where they might actually be able to implement significant change.
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