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This research commissioned by the TUC has uncovered that many working mothers are making significant adjustments to balance the demands of childcare and work during the pandemic. This has led to some feeling that their performance at work has been impacted, with a notable proportion concerned that it will have a detrimental effect on chances of a promotion in the future.

Some of the key findings include:

  • The vast majority of working mothers (90%) have spent more time carrying out childcare responsibilities during the pandemic.
  • In general, working mothers were more likely to have adjusted their working practises to respond to increased childcare responsibilities compared to a partner (if applicable). For example, 43% of working mothers combined home working and childcare in comparison to 29% of their partners who did the same.
  • Three in ten (30%) working mothers regularly worked early in the morning (pre-8am) or late at night (post-8pm) to balance work and childcare.
  • One in six (16%) responded to the challenge by reducing their hours at work.
  • Almost a quarter (23%) of working mothers felt they were unable to perform their job role as well as they usually would as a result of juggling paid work and childcare.
  • Almost a fifth (18%) of working mothers are concerned that balancing work and childcare during the pandemic has affected how their performance will be assessed by their manager, while one in six (16%) are worried that it has impacted their chances of a promotion in the future.

The findings of the research were featured in the Guardian, Independent and Mirror.

ICM interviewed 2001 working women in Great Britain aged 18+, with at least one child aged 10 and under, who used some form of informal or formal childcare prior to the COVID-19 pandemic. Fieldwork was carried out between 6-19 August 2020.

If you are interested in finding out more, please do get in touch at enquiries@icmunlimited.com

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