City mothers need more support not fewer children

So Nigel Farage thinks that staff who are mothers are worth less to City firms than their male colleagues – even if the male colleagues might also be fathers.

While there are examples of successful mothers in City institutions, there is still some way to go and avoiding procreation is hardly a solution.

The real issue is actually the difficulty for most parents of finding work that allows enough flexibility to bring up children, managing nursery hours, school hours, holidays, illnesses, school events etc. Many city employers still refuse to engage in discussions with employees about extended annual leave, parental leave, working hours and working style. This makes it very difficult for any parent who has the main childcare responsibilities.

Part of the issue is about pay. It would be much better for most parents to have the option of a ‘pay me what I work’ model, allowing people to work hours that meet childcare needs, while allowing employees who work longer hours to be paid for doing so. Instead we see resentment in many workplaces between those who have to constrain their hours because of childcare commitments and those that don’t. If City employers were more honest and paid people for the hours they worked, rather than pretending that all employees are equal, the outcome would be better and fairer for all.


Posted January 2014