“I am currently on maternity leave and also jobless”
Welcome to #FlexiMamas, a series about barriers that working mums face. This edition features Stacy, a married mother to a two-year-old daughter and six-month-old son.
“Before having my children, I worked as an accounts assistant. I always knew I would be a working mom and preferably a part-time working mom. When I went on maternity leave with my daughter, I was working full time and made a request to go back to work part time, working three days a week.”
“I personally think the cost of childcare is disgusting.”
“The childcare in my area was around £950 for a full-time place. My full-time wage would have been under £1200. I personally think the cost of childcare is disgusting and as an extra kick in the teeth to moms who are desperately trying to get back into work.
“We wouldn’t qualify for any help with this cost until our child is three, whereas a stay-at-home mom, with no need for the childcare since they do not work, gets help when their child is two. I was very lucky to be able to use my mom for two days’ childcare as she also works part time. If she had been unable to do this, I most certainly would have not been able to afford to work and also wouldn’t have been able to afford not to work as my husband’s working wage and hours means that we do not qualify for any help.
“I am currently on maternity leave and also jobless.”
“My request was granted and so I went back to work part time. I got pregnant with my son six months later and they tried to force me to go back to work full time citing ‘business needs’ as their reason for revoking the part-time employment. To put it bluntly, they were trying to force me to quit.
“I argued, took my case to ACAS (among many other complaints as to how I had been treated) and eventually won a payout which unfortunately led to my contract being terminated as part of the terms that were agreed. So I am currently on maternity leave and also jobless. I will have to start job hunting again when my paid maternity finishes but I have enough saved up so that I will not be screwed if I don’t find a job that suits our situation immediately.
“For mothers to be able to go back to work, our backwards childcare system needs to be fixed. Yes, we’ve been given 30 hours instead of 15 once our child turns three, but we should be getting help from the age of two and not the stay-at-home moms who do not actually need the childcare.”
Have your own story to tell about struggles with flexible working – or a story about how you made it work for you? Email firstname.lastname@example.org.