According to a recent survey, over three quarters of working mothers (80 per cent) feel stuck in their current job because of a lack of flexibility offered in other workplaces.

The survey of over 2,000 parents carried out annually by the charity, Working Mums, also reported that 57 per cent of mothers feel that their careers have stalled since they had children.

Nearly six out of ten mothers (59 per cent) say that flexible working is the one thing that would help them most to progress. The problem is that, apart from part-time working, very few can access the flexibility they need.

Indeed, over a fifth of mothers (22 per cent) work full time with no flexibility at all. Only eight per cent work from home occasionally with a meagre three per cent working fully from home and one per cent working term time hours or compressed hours.

The situation is even worse for fathers, with almost half of all the dads surveyed (46 per cent) reporting that they work full time with no flexibility. Just four per cent of fathers work part time.

In order to ascertain what happens over the “life cycle”,’s annual survey also polled hundreds of people under 21 and over 50 in addition to working mothers and fathers.

The results showed that demand for flexible working is significant across all age groups with the young most likely to research flexible working before applying for a job and most likely to leave if it wasn’t flexible enough.

Although all employees with 26 weeks’ continuous employment have the right to request flexible working, the survey found that 26 per cent of working mothers were turned down for a reason not allowed under the legislation.

Emma Game of Thompsons comments, these results show that much more needs to be done to promote and implement flexible working, regardless of the type of contract they may be on.  Whilst the law on flexible working has been changed over the years to allow all employees to make a request, the statistics show that this is not enough.   Consideration should be given to whether all jobs should be flexible by default, for example.

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