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Flexible Furlough Requests Rejected For 71% Of Working Mums

Flexible Furlough Requests Rejected For 71% Of Working Mums

Over 70 per cent of working mums who requested furlough in the wake of school closures have had their requests refused, a new survey has shown.

The survey from trade union group TUC spoke to 50,000 women, and uncovered the shocking findings, which experts warn could reverse gender equality, causing damage that will take a decade to repair.

Bosses have been able to furlough parents who can't access childcare since April last year, but more than seven out of 10 working mothers have not been offered this provision.

Furthermore, it found that 167 fathers had asked for furlough, compared to a staggering 3,100 mothers surveyed. Plus, of this number 75 per cent of dads had been refused, while 71 per cent of mums were told no.

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Mums are being forced to work while their kids are without childcare (Credit: Unsplash)
Mums are being forced to work while their kids are without childcare (Credit: Unsplash)

The TUC survey was sent to all parents, but just seven per cent of those who responded (2,660) were men, proving just how disproportionately this affects women.

Overall, a quarter of male and female respondents said they were managing their childcare through annual leave.

Meanwhile, 10 per cent of men had made the move to work less hours so they could handle the load, as supposed to 18 per cent of women.

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Experts also described the findings as a "cry for help" from mothers across the country.

Parents are having to juggle work and childcare (Credit: Unsplash)
Parents are having to juggle work and childcare (Credit: Unsplash)
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TUC general secretary, Frances O'Grady, told The Guardian: "Just like in the first lockdown, mums are shouldering the majority of childcare.

"Tens of thousands of mums have told us they are despairing. It's neither possible nor sustainable for them to work as normal, while looking after their children and supervising schoolwork."

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The trade union group is for furlough for parents and carers to be made a legal right, and also requesting 10 days of paid carers leave as well as a right to flexible work.

This issue is disproportionately affecting women (Credit: Shutterstock)
This issue is disproportionately affecting women (Credit: Shutterstock)

They ask for an increase in sick pay, too, plus access to the self-employment income support scheme (SEISS) new self-employed parents.

"Making staff take weeks of unpaid leave isn't the answer," O'Grady added. "Bosses must do the right thing and offer maximum flexibility to mums and dads who can't work because of childcare. And as a last resort, parents must have a temporary right to be furloughed where their boss will not agree."

Featured Image Credit: Shutterstock

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Joanna Freedman

Joanna is a journalist at Tyla with a particular interest in highlighting women's issues and telling inspiring first person stories. She's also their resident foodie, and loves covering exciting new beauty launches, too. Contact her at [email protected]