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Woman had to quit job as boss wouldn't let her leave 15 minutes early to pick up child

Woman had to quit job as boss wouldn't let her leave 15 minutes early to pick up child

Anna is now campaigning for women to have more flexibility in the workplace.

A mum has revealed that she quit her job after her boss refused to let her leave 15 minutes early to pick up her child.

Anna Whitehouse, 41, is a mum-of-two and she explained that back in 2015, she asked her boss for some flexibility to accommodate childcare.

Namely, she asked if she could start work 15 minutes early so that she could leave 15 minutes early to pick up her child from nursery.

The mum, who now creates under the name Mother Pukka, told the Mirror: "My boss said 'we can't do it for you because it might open the floodgates to other people needing flexible working'."

Anna's employer wouldn't accommodate a slight change in working hours.

"It wasn't that I particularly thought I was the right person to step up and speak up but I remember thinking about how I was going to raise the girls - build you up to work hard in your ABCs, work hard in your GCSEs, in your A levels, to perhaps go and fight for that career that you wanted, to then have somebody else shut the door in your face.

"There are so many women who've been pushed out of the workforce and I need to do something about it."

Anna has now launched the Flex Appeal campaign, which asks companies to be more flexible when it comes to letting staff fit their jobs around parenting commitments.

She added that this is also about more than just working from home, which many employers have embraced in the wake of the Covid-19 pandemic.

"I'm very nervous to say that the deconstruction of the working world in the pandemic was the silver bullet we were looking for it," Anna continues.

She wants more flexibility for working parents.

"I had companies two weeks before we went into lockdown saying 'it won't work in our industry'.

"Two weeks later, if they didn't log into Zoom, they had to shut down. They had no choice so it's very interesting to see what is possible when money is at stake.

"There's so much nuance to core hours, job shares, and compressed hours. There's a whole different way of working that is being missed at the moment."

She said that the pandemic has given employers a 'fresh canvas' when it comes to their approach to working.

"But we are so far from where we need to be," Anna said.

"It comes down to two elements - inclusion and trust. If you don't trust the people you're employing, if you're looking at where someone's sitting over what they're doing, then that's on you."

Anna believes flexible working will benefit everyone.

In the UK, the average cost of sending a child to nursery full time is £264 a week full time and £138 part time, as reported by MoneyHelper.

"Childcare costs in this country are debilitating," the campaigner stressed.

"We are seeing floods of women stepping back from careers they have fought tooth and nail for against the odds on so many levels - childcare costs are simply drowning out female talent.

"Because if I have those moments with my family, with the loves of my life, I am going to work so much harder for you and so they go hand in hand really."

You can find out more about the Flex Appeal campaign here.

Featured Image Credit: Instagram/@mother_pukka

Topics: Real Life, Parenting