Earlier this week, to a packed room in CCHQ, we hosted our second policy debate on how to make work the most viable option for women. Our panel included Chief Executives from the following organisations; Employment Related Services Association (ERSA); the TaxPayers Alliance (TPA); the Elevation Network; Westminster Business Council, Dress for Success and London MEP Marina Yannakoudakis.
Childcare was an over-arching topic for the debate, raised by Kirsty McHugh of ERSA. The costs of childcare minimise the real benefits of work financially and only time will tell what the proposed changes will do to increase the desirability of work for mothers. One audience member in discussion with Matthew Sinclair of TPA highlighted research that showed that the UK was almost the worst country in Europe in terms of seeing a drop-off when women become mothers. And it’s not just formal childcare that matters. There is still more to be done by employers to see flexible working made a reality – both in terms of part-time and home-based work.