A really interesting report issued by the UK Women’s Budget Group along with the Fawcett Society points out that the 2011 Budget doesn’t help those affected by public spending cuts, rising unemployment and may actually widen gender inequality.
Within this report, such findings include;
The prospect if more women than men in the UK will be unemployed if the current economic strategy continues.
The report goes on to highlight, that by removing the protections of men and women in caring responsibilities will hinder them from working.
Interestingly, the report suggests that businesses who will be set to benefit most from new tax breaks and other incentives are more often men. It is felt that schemes to support women in business are scrapped.
The acting Chief Executive of the Fawcett Society, Anna Bird, rightly hits back saying “ It’s time for the government to admit there is a problem with “business as usual” and recognise that to grow, we need everyone to play their rightful part. Women play a valuable role in the economy, but we urgently need to close the gender pay gap – in the private sector this stands at 21 per cent. – broaden women’s employment options and provide more support to enable more women to start up business”
Extended Paternity leave will come into effect from April 3rd 2011. This means that under the new rules, father’s can take up to 26 weeks paternity leave. Great idea, but will your husband/partner be taking advantage of this flexible benefit?
A generous contribution from the Government and a modern approach in identifying “hands on daddies”, but I think for some families it is simply not a reality.
A recent study carried out by uSwitch.com found 26% of fathers felt that, by taking advantage of such a benefit would be detrimental to their career’s. 16% were fearful about losing their jobs.
With the pressure of increased responsibility and workload, over half the fathers questioned simply couldn’t afford to take the time off. Financial constraints was a major factor and this would hinder nearly half of the men questioned. Some men taking part in the survey, went as far to say that they wouldn’t be happy to cover the workload for father’s taking this length of paternity leave. Money concerns seemed to be a recurring theme, however on a positive note, in general, many men embraced such a benefit.
During a time of economic uncertainty along with financial fears, unfortunately these factors will prevent many father’s from being the “hands on” parent they would want to be.
I think it is a real plus supporting new father’s, but until there is an increased shift towards flexible work patterns and perhaps some improvement on certain stigma’s attached to such parental rights within society, then I am not sure families will embrace such an opportunity nor have the choice to.
I have been searching for a trace of positive news from the budget supporting working mums and families……? Did I miss something?
In reality, the real announcements affecting working mums, has largely been around “reductions” and ”cuts” and the impact of many of these will directly affect working families. The impact will not only make families less well off which is obvious, but in some situations force one of two working parents within household’s to give up their job entirely as it isn’t financially viable for them to actually go to work. It may in fact change the dynamics of some households and force more mums to seek work opportunities but will they find the flexibility to support their decision? What we haven’t seen included in the governments plans to stabilise the private sector, is any consideration or drive for more family friendly jobs and the demonstration of positive growth plans.
Amidst my search I was pleased to find the views of Anna Bird - acting Chief Executive from the The Fawcett Society who so rightly pointed out that ” women bear the brunt of the government cuts”. She goes on to say “Female unemployment is already at its highest in more than 20 years and is set to rise still further, but the one million unemployed women in Britain will find little in the way of welfare support to fall back on. Women’s incomes will be further squeezed as child benefit is frozen, housing benefit capped, maternity payments scrapped and the value of benefits and tax credits reduced.” Well said!
If there is just one announcement from this budget I am in full believer of, and that is the encouragement of growth for more Entrepreneurs across the UK. The appetite for women to demonstrate their entrepreneurial talent certainly isn’t unheard of these days. There is an increasing number of successful “mumpreneurs” entering the market over the past few years, utilising their skills and innovative talent. As more small businesses being ran by “mumpreneurs” evolve, they will tend to hire like-minded woman seeking flexibility work patterns, which is a win, win situation. This creates new jobs and provides flexibility, which is good news. So, if the government’s growth plan doesn’t directly involve the creation of more family friendly jobs then there is great opportunity here to do it for yourself!
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This is our new exciting feature to the allmumkind network which continues to support women and their careers post motherhood.
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