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Hello all, welcome back to this week’s blog!

First of all, we hope you had a lovely Mother’s Day on Sunday, whatever that looks like for you. We were supposed to be going for a walk but the rain meant we just ended up at a café for coffee and cake so not all bad!

I’ve been battling an ear infection this past week; it is starting to get a bit better which I’m hoping continues because me and my husband are off to Dublin for a long weekend from Thursday.

Yes, it is St Patricks day on Sunday – and yes, Ireland are also playing in the six nations rugby against Scotland, at the Aviva Stadium in Dublin on Saturday, it’s going to be a busy weekend but the atmosphere should be amazing – I can’t wait!

Back to Mother’s Day, an article highlighting a recent study caught my eye over the weekend which found that the hourly earnings of mothers vs fathers is 24% in favour of fathers. The “motherhood penalty” as it has been coined, currently means that fathers make  £4.22 an hour more than mothers.

This, together with the countless hours of unpaid labour of running a household and the caring responsibilities of parenting children, which often falls to the women, means mothers are on the back foot when it comes to their careers.  This is oh, so timely too with it being international Women’s Day last Friday – it is like the stars have aligned!!

As an employer – what can you do to help?

As an employer, there are lots of things you could be doing to help the mothers in your workforce – and you may already be doing it! I know Precept are!

Having an open and accessible flexible working attitude can help.  Whilst it is a legal right for employees to be able to make flexible working requests (and don’t forget about the fast approaching changes to flexible working requests!) you can make sure your employees are aware of their rights to request flexible working patterns and have an attitude of wanting to help those who submit the requests, rather than just doing the bare minimum.

Even better than funnelling women down the formal flexible working request route can be for the business generally just to operate flexibly.  This requires a high degree of trust between employee and employer.  But if that is there then this can work amazingly, fully fulfilling both work and personal requirements for employer and employee – a true virtuous circle.  If you don’t have that level of trust in your staff – maybe they arent the right staff for you?  #justsaying

Remote working can also be amazing at supporting women at work, being able to work around child caring responsibilities can enable women to work full time rather than having to go part time to work around school runs for example, as well as reducing down the costs of childcare, which can be a massive burden on families.

Maternity and paternity policies where you go above the statutory minimum can help to support and encourage women when they are planning to have children.

You could also see if you could set up a mentoring scheme to help support and encourage women to progress within your business.

Going a step further than the above, you could look into offering childcare on your premises for employees or helping mothers by offering to pay for after school clubs for example.

There are some easy wins for you that can make a huge difference to the women you work with, which can then have a massive impact on the workplace overall. First and foremost, you reduce the risks of tribunal claims for sex discrimination and this is all going to help in the long-run, because happy staff mean staff that stay with a business so you retain their expertise and experience. You can then avoid the costs involved in recruiting and replacing that expertise and experience. That’s likely to equal happy employer isn’t it?!

Disclaimer before we get complaints – we know families are all different now, many men take on childcare and home responsibilities, but we hope you take this blog with the intention it is meant with!  There is no reason why the adjustments you put in place shouldn’t benefit everyone and create an equal workplace between the sexes – that is the dream right?

If you need any help with the above, as always, we are here to help, get in touch with us to discuss any questions you may have.