Analysis by the Office for National Statistics has shown that women who commute for an hour are nearly 30 per cent more likely to leave their jobs than if they have a ten-minute commute. The ONS believes this is due to childcare commitments. In comparison, men are more likely to look at money as the reason for leaving their job. They are prepared to travel for longer to get higher pay. The ONS believes this contributes to men doing the higher paid work which fuels the gender pay gap.
Amber Rudd, Minister for Women and Equalities, has said that women find it difficult to balance their job with their parenting responsibilities. She says she is determined to help women find a balance between higher pay, career progression and their childcare and family commitments. Plans include consultation on proposals to better support parents and improving access to information on family related matters such as childcare support and parental leave. They also intend to explore ‘innovative pilots’ to deliver more flexible working in SMEs and sectors with a high number of low paid employees. It will be interesting to see how these worthy principles translate into practice.