Trade Unions Congress (TUC) has called on the government to make flexible working available to all after it was revealed that women risk being “set back decades”.
The news follows a report by the Women and Equalities Committee, which revealed how women have been disproportionately impacted by the pandemic.
TUC General Secretary Frances O’Grady commented that women have been put in an “impossible situation” during the pandemic, often expected to work and look after children at the same time.
A TUC survey of 52,000 working mums published earlier this month revealed that nine in ten respondents had experienced higher levels of anxiety and stress levels during this latest lockdown.
Additionally, it showed that nearly three-quarters (71%) of those who had applied for furlough following the latest school closures have had their requests “turned down”.
O’Grady expressed that “too many working mums” are having to “cut their hours or being forced to leave their jobs” because they cannot manage.
The union has suggested the government allocate at least ten days’ paid parental leave each year as well as provide adequate funding for childcare.
O’Grady added: “The government must urgently carry out and publish equality impact assessments of all its policies during this pandemic. This crisis, and the government’s response to it, is deepening inequalities for women at work.”