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Working mothers looking for new jobs as inflation spikes

More than half (55%) of working mothers in the UK have said they will look for new jobs in the next 12 months, according to research from employment support service Working Mums.

Increasing inflation was a deciding factor in mothers wanting to pursue new employment; the current rate stands at 11.1% in the UK, a 41-year high.

The majority (90%) of mothers surveyed had not received a pay rise in line with inflation in 2022, leading to 58% looking for increased hours or an additional job to boost their pay. 

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Mandy Garner, spokesperson for Working Mums, said the UK's ongoing recession – as confirmed by chancellor Jeremy Hunt during the autumn budget yesterday (17 November) – should encourage employers to offer more support to working mothers.

She told HR magazine: "As the chancellor confirms the UK is in recession and families continue to face increasing pressure on their household budgets due to rising taxes and prices, more needs to be done to encourage employers to offer quality flexible jobs with career progression so parents and their families don't end up in a spiral of poverty, trapped in debt that has been locked in from the beginning due to low maternity and paternity rates and high childcare costs.

"With inflation increasing, employers are taking their foot off the gas with financial support for mums. If pay increases to match inflation aren’t happening, then mums are effectively losing money in that same role.

Flexible working was another big reason why mothers were looking for new jobs.

One in four women surveyed had their flexible working benefits removed since the pandemic, leading to 42% leaving their job as a result. 

When job searching, 86% would look at an organisation's flexible working policy before applying, and 77% would ask about flexible working at interviews.

Garner added: "Too many are still finding that employers are turning down flexible working or rescinding it after agreeing to it and many are choosing to walk as a result.

"Flexible working is crucial, particularly in the absence of a proper and affordable care infrastructure, and there are concerns that a recession could see a backlash against it. That would be a mistake and would ignore all the research showing its positive impact."

Working Mums surveyed 2,264 mothers between July and August 2022.