Released on: 31 March 2014

London parents are twice as likely to find that going back to work after having children is not financially viable than parents in the rest of the UK, according to research by NCT.

The parents’ charity found that 30%¹ of new mums and dads in the capital who have returned to work after having children thought that, after taking all the costs – such as childcare and travel – into consideration, it had not been financially worthwhile. This is double the figure for the rest of the UK (15%).

NCT research also found that the number one thing an employer could do to make balancing work and family life less stressful was to make hours more flexible. (57% of women, 53% men chose this option).²

In response, the charity has put a template letter on its website for parents to request more flexible working hours from their employers. It is written by expert employment lawyers³ to give requests the best possible chance of being accepted. The letter (normal RRP £19.99) is free and sits alongside other useful information about work and childcare and maternity / paternity leave and pay.

Belinda Phipps, Chief Executive, NCT says:
“New parents often struggle with finances after taking maternity or paternity leave and may find that returning to work doesn’t add up financially when taking into account childcare costs. This seems to be even more of an issue in London.

“We hope our template letter will help people to arrange more flexible working patterns and balance the requirements of work and parenthood.”

¹Survation interviewed 1,006 parents of children aged three and under in the United Kingdom, from 24th - 28th January 2014, on behalf of NCT. Survation is a member of the British Polling Council and abides by its rules. A full copy of the report, Early Parenthood Survey, is available on request.

In response to the question, ‘When taking into consideration all the costs of returning to work – such as childcare and travel – has it been financially worthwhile you going back to work? 30% of London respondents said No, compared to 15% of respondents from the rest of the UK.

²In response to the question, ‘Regarding going back to work after having your baby, from the following options, what is the number one thing your employer could do to make balancing work and family life less stressful?’ 55% chose the option: ‘Make your hours more flexible’ (56% women, 54% men); 25% chose: ‘Make a contribution towards the cost of childcare’; 15% chose: ‘Allow you to work from home 1 day a week’; 5% chose: ‘Other’.

³ UK employment law firm Slater & Gordon created the template that builds a flexible working letter.


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