Work practices need to reflect family life, says Nick Clegg

Nick Clegg has spoken out about the "unfairness" of mothers being pushed aside in the workplace and the negative effect on the economy this can have.

The Deputy Prime Minister issued the warning as a poll revealed that 75% of women who went back to work after having a child thought career progression was harder to achieve.

Mumsnet also discovered that 60% of women felt their employability suffered after having a baby.

Mr Clegg said: "It is sadly still far too common for women to feel shoved aside at work because they've decided to have children. Aside from the obvious unfairness, it's also bad for our economy, which means everybody ends up losing out."

Of the 1,029 Mumsnet users who were questioned, a total of 17% felt under-supported by their boss or employer during pregnancy, with a quarter feeling the same upon their return to work.

Five firms have been hailed for their family-friendly practices though, with Metro Bank, Matalan, Butlin's, Pizza Express and Starcom MediaVest Group each being awarded a Mumsnet Gold Family Friendly Award.

The Liberal Democrat leader added: "There are many employers out there who do understand the need to retain the best staff and who want to help families better balance work and home. The companies being recognised today set a shining example.

"Modern families come in every thinkable shape and size. In many cases mothers want to work and fathers want to spend more time at home."

He concluded: "We need to dramatically update our working practices to accommodate these realities, helping families juggle their lives as they see fit.

"That is why from April 2015, the Coalition Government is introducing shared parental leave to ensure career options remain open to women after pregnancy."

Copyright Press Association 2013