New data shows nearly half of mums made redundant blame lack of childcare

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Almost half of all mums or pregnant women that were - or due to be - made redundant during the coronavirus pandemic say a lack of childcare played a role in their redundancy.

The study, by organisation Pregnant The Screwed, was looking at the lasting impacts lack of childcare has on women's careers.

Of the almost 20,000 pregnant women and mothers that were surveyed, 72% said they had to work fewer hours because of childcare issues.

Of those mothers who were furloughed, 65% said a lack of childcare was the reason.

81% of the employed mothers that were surveyed said they needed childcare to be able to work, however, less than half (49%) have the necessary childcare to allow them to do their job. 

Of those mothers who were furloughed, 65% said a lack of childcare was the reason. Credit: PA images

A lack of childcare is destroying women's careers, they are being made redundant, they are cutting their hours, and they are being treated negatively all because they are picking up the slack.

Joeli Brearley, CEO and founder of Pregnant Then Screwed

Joeli Brearley, CEO and founder of Pregnant Then Screwed explains, "Your employer must prove through your individual risk assessment that you will be safe in the workplace and that you are able to socially distance including on your commute.

"If they can't do this then they must allow you to work from home and where that's not possible they should suspend you on full pay. Not furlough, not sick pay, not enforced early maternity leave.

"It is simply not ok to continue treating pregnant workers as collateral damage throughout this pandemic, when we know that at least five pregnant women have already died from the virus.

"The confusion surrounding this is impalpable, it's the law, it's women's legal rights the same ones that have been in place since 1999 with the management of health and safety at work regulations."

Credit: PA images

According to Pregnant Then Screwed, 46% of women who have been suspended from work because of their pregnancy have been suspended on incorrect terms.

Including:

  • 33% on furlough

  • 13% on sick pay

  • told to take holiday

  • told to start maternity pay

The data shows that of self-employed mothers, 74% have had their earning potential reduced because of a lack of access to childcare.

We need to see provisions in place to support mothers who are struggling with childcare through no fault of their own.

Joeli Brearley, CEO and founder of Pregnant Then Screwed

Joeli Brearley, CEO and founder of Pregnant Then Screwed said, "Self-employed women are having to give up their childcare spaces at a faster rate than employed mothers, and their earning potential is reducing week after week. It's an absolute disaster."

She continues, "That 15% of employed mothers have been made redundant or think they will be in the next six months, is huge and it's terrifying.

"To add insult to injury though almost half of these attribute a lack of childcare to the decision. This is discrimination in its most purest sense.

"We need to see provisions in place to support mothers who are struggling with childcare through no fault of their own."


A single mum from Bristol who was made redundant believes the lack of childcare caused her to lose her job.

Chloe Llewellin was forced to reduce he hours when her son's nursery closed during lockdown.

She was then unable to go back up to full time after lockdown because her nursery was still running at reduced hours.

She was let go with just one weeks pay and is now without a job.

Chloe says trying to find a new one is difficult because she can't commit to full time because of child care issues.

It's unfair to women who do want to work and make a career and a better life for their child.

Chloe says the lack of childcare continues to make life tough and has taken a toll on her mental health.