Balancing child care and work has never been so tricky due to homeschooling and a lack of child care options during lockdown periods. Since the beginning of January 2021, thousands of working mums have requested to be placed on furlough but this has fallen on deaf ears by bosses.

A TUC study has revealed that 70% of furlough requests made by home working mothers have been rejected by their employer. This has lead to mounting calls for business leaders “to do the right thing” and offer flexibility to parents whilst schools and offices are no go zones.

The official TUC poll named ‘Working Mums’ contacted more than 50,000 people shortly after it was announced that schools would be closed once again. The results showed that from 3,100 furlough requests made, 2,200 (71%) of them where rejected.

Frances O’Grady, general secretary of the TUC, said that for many working mothers, working as normal was “neither possible nor sustainable”, and that unpaid leave was not the solution.

“Tens of thousands of mums have told us they are despairing,” said O’Grady. “Bosses must do the right thing and offer maximum flexibility to mums and dads who can’t work because of childcare.”

Workers unions have been vocal on calling out the government to introduce various rights for certain groups who cannot work because of corona related restrictions. This includes both male and female parents and those with medical or mental health issues.