Over a fifth of working mothers have been forced to leave their jobs because a flexible working request was turned down, according to research.
Of those who had flexible working turned down, over half said they felt the reasons given were unjustified. Some 13% who appealed were successful, but 77% didn’t appeal.
The figures, from the Workingmums.co.uk 2015 Annual Survey of over 2,300 mums, show flexible working is a growing priority for mothers, with 58% choosing it as the most important factor for their career progression, up from 52% in 2014.
The survey also shows that 55% of women earn less pro rata than before they had children, but 17% earn more than their partner. Nevertheless, 56% say they would accept less pay for flexibility.
As many as 49% think employers discriminate against working mothers, with only 12% saying they don’t.
Gillian Nissim, founder of Workingmums.co.uk, said: “The survey results show how important flexible working in all its forms is to working mums. There are some jobs in which it is easier to offer certain forms of flexibility, but our work in highlighting best practice shows that there is room for a lot of creative thinking on how to make work culture more family-friendly.
“Some have argued that it is too expensive for businesses to move to more agile working patterns, but the survey demonstrates the costs of not doing so in terms of the loss of skilled staff.”