Forcing women from the workplace will hurt the economy
ANECDOTALLY, many of us have known about this for some time. But today this newspaper brings you hard evidence that rising childcare costs and decreasing maternity benefits are forcing women out of work.
Many families face a charge of €300 per week just to care for one child. It makes the arithmetic increasingly tight for working mothers – even those determined to keep their toehold in the labour market at the price of a more immediate loss.
The problem is compounded by another revelation – that the numbers of employers putting up full maternity pay is dwindling considerably. One in four employers has had to cut back here, forcing mothers back to work sooner than they would want.
We also remember the height of the boom, when huge, expensive efforts had to be made to attract women back to work. Apart from the injustice here, women being driven from the workplace is also about loss of skills and talent.
If we cannot make space for the social and personal quality of life arguments here – then we should at least consider the implications for the future of economic growth.