Working mothers ‘lie over childcare’

More than half of working mothers lie about running late due to children

More than half of all working mothers will lie if they are running late or absent from work because of their childcare arrangements, new research has found.

The study found that 52% routinely blamed heavy traffic or having overslept for arriving late because those were regarded as more legitimate excuses than problems with childcare.

The report asked 1,500 working mothers about attitudes towards them in the office and found that the reality does not match claims by many bosses that they want to make working life easier for mothers.

The majority, 94%, said having children had had an impact on their careers, but only a third said that the demands of work and family had affected their partner’s job.

Two-thirds said that asking for flexible working arrangements had led bosses to question their commitment to the job, and more than a third had been asked about how their family arrangements might affect their work – a question rarely asked of men.

The study by the nursery chain The Family Care Company also found that women colleagues without children were less sympathetic than men to the pressures working mothers faced.

The government introduced the right for parents to request flexible work in 2003 and says more than one million requests have been granted. Today, 55% of women with children under five go out to work, compared with 25% in 1975.

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