Josh Brown

Open University

Josh Brown is a Politics, Philosophy and Economics student at The Open University. He helped out Insight for Good over a summer, researching different social topics and identifying insights working with other students collaboratively. He was especially interested in sustainability and wage inequality
Josh Brown

Women in 2017 made up almost half of the labour force at 46.5% but still there are many more women who want to work. Over a third of stay at home mothers want to work and about 20% of mothers who are working want to take on more hours.

What’s stopping them? 

When asked by Mumsnet, 67% of mothers who are in work say that child care costs are the main barrier that stops them working more, with 64% of mothers citing the high costs of childcare as the their main reason for not working. Mothers want to work but the reality of expensive child care is holding them back. 

Who are these mothers?

It’s those on the lowest incomes who are most affected, low pay makes childcare not worth it. This may be why research done at Heriot Watt university found that the provision of good quality free child care could be the most important factor in reducing inequality. It would allow parents to work more or even enter education to improve their prospects. Income inequality is reduced most drastically by improving the income of the poorest households. It’s in these households that women are put off work by the high cost of child care. Therefore why not reduce inequality by providing the opportunity to let these women work? 

References
https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-scotland-37966847
https://www.catalyst.org/knowledge/women-workforce-uk
https://www.theguardian.com/money/2014/jan/23/cost-childcare-barrier-work-mothers-survey

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