Firms fail to attract working mums - report

Firms are failing to attract women back to work because they are not offering childcare and other forms of family support, according to a new report today.

Just 3% of private companies provided on-site creche facilities and only a third offered support for workers who care for elderly relatives or children with special needs, research found.

One in 10 private sector firms said they did not recognise work/life balance issues.

In contrast, public sector organisations attracted at least three out of four women back after maternity leave.

Human Resources magazine and work/life providers Accor Services said their survey showed a "chasm" in attitudes between the public and private sector.

One mother of two told researchers that many private companies were "traditional" organisations, dominated by middle-aged, middle-class men, reluctant to adopt family-friendly policies.

Morice Mendoza, editor of Human Resources, said: "The public sector appears to be winning the work/life battle hands down. As the demand for skilled workers increases, businesses operating in the private sector need to be more flexible in their bid to attract mothers back into the labour market."

The survey of 210 human resources managers showed that only 22% of private firms had work/life policies, compared with 71% of public sector organisations.

More than 90% of public sector organisations offered workers the chance to job-share, three times the figure for the private sector.

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