The bosses who won't employ mothers


Increasing numbers of working mothers are being turned down for jobs by suspicious employers, a survey revealed yesterday.

Woman carrying files in the office

Fairer sex?: Bosses worry that mothers will not work as hard as others.

As firms continue to suffer from the fall-out of the recession, many are refusing to give jobs to women with children - even though it means they are breaking the law.

More than a third of bosses - 38% - worry that mothers will not work as hard as others and will be less flexible about working hours.

A similar number - 31% - fear that if they hire a mother she is likely to get pregnant again, leaving them short of a worker and facing a bill for maternity leave.

The survey, by business services firm Regus, also revealed that 1% of employers believe women who haven't worked while bringing up a family are likely to be out of touch with the changing demands of jobs.

The findings appear to confirm fears that employers burdened by 'family friendly' laws on maternity leave and flexible working are increasingly unwilling to give jobs to women workers.

Almost two thirds of mothers of children under five work either full or part-time, making a significant contribution to household incomes.

But the Regus study of 10,000 employers found that only 26% intend to hire working mothers this year, down from 38% last year.

Regus director Celia Donne said: 'It is not surprising to see prejudiced attitudes come back into play with economic belt-tightening.'

She added: 'Some businesses are evidently still guilty of applying old-fashioned misgivings.'

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