This is a question I posed on LinkedIn recently and the overwhelming response was that yes it does adversely impact women.
Following the lockdown and school closure in March 2020 statistics came out that more women than men were furloughed and subsequently made redundant.
There have been a number of stories reported in the popular press about employers who are refusing to furlough staff who cannot work due to childcare and as, generally, childcare responsibilities fall on women (even though we are in 2021 this still remains the case), it is, in my view adversely impacting working mothers.
Just today there was a report on the Independent online with the headline ‘Furlough for 71% of working mothers rejected by bosses survey reveals’.
According to the report it states that the TUC surveyed 50,000 women and the survey showed a “lack of support” for working parents. You can read the report here: https://www.independent.co.uk/news/uk/home-news/furlough-coronavirus-tuc-b1787010.html
My advice is if you have employees, men and women who are juggling working and childcare you should discuss with them regularly and see what support you can offer. There are many reports of families struggling to work at home, and I regularly hear from mothers who are working from home who spend all day caring for the children and home schooling only to start work at 7-8pm and working until the early hours of the morning. Whilst this may work in the short term it presents a real risk to physical and mental health and therefore employers are under a duty of care to ensure that working arrangements actually work and are realistic.
If you have any questions or would like to talk through options, please do not hesitate to contact me or any one of my team.
If you would like to connect with me on LinkedIn you can do so here: https://www.linkedin.com/in/alison-colley-employmentlaw/
Photo courtesy of Priscilla du Preez on Unsplash