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to think the EU has no business telling UK SAHMs to get a job

(7 Posts)
OTheHugeManatee Wed 24-Jun-15 13:55:00

The European Council has put out a report saying the UK has too many SAHMs and the British government should do more to get them out to work.

SAHMs are a 'social challenge', apparently confused

AIBU to think the European Council should wind its neck in? hmm

SeaMedows Wed 24-Jun-15 14:02:21

It looks to me like what the report said was the following, which might be summed up as 'UK childcare is expensive, meaning that women may lose out on pay and pensions':

"Childcare costs in the UK are high on an internationally comparable basis, although supply has increased recently. Costs continue to rise, with an increase of 6% between 2012 and 2013; the rate of inflation for the same period was 2.7% ([67]). There is a risk that the declining trend in the gender pay gap is reversed and the gender gap in pensions will widen as the cost and availability of childcare may constrain women's labour supply ([68]) ([69]). The gap in the share of part-time work between women (42.6% in 2013) and men (13.2% in 2013) is one of the highest in the EU. The percentage of women that are inactive or work part-time due to personal and family responsibilities (12.5%) is almost twice as high as the EU average (6.3%) in 2013. The availability of childcare is improving for pre-school children. The share of children under three in formal childcare facilities remains low. [...]

To address the availability of childcare the government introduced the Childcare Business Grants scheme. The scheme, launched in April 2013, provides grants of up to GBP 500 to anyone who wants to set up a new nursery or child-minding business to help cover the costs of insurance, training, equipment and legal advice. However, there are concerns that the amount of funding is insufficient and will not cover core expenses such as equipment purchases, rent and staff salaries ([78]). The scheme initially launched with a fund of GBP 2 million which the government estimated would improve childcare availability by helping to launch up to 6 000 new childcare businesses thus helping women move back into work after having children. To date over 4900 grants have been paid and Autumn Statement 2014 announced that the scheme would be extended into 2015/16.

From 2015, under the 'tax-free childcare scheme', eligible families will receive 20% of their yearly childcare costs on fees of up to GBP 10 000 per child. This measure is expected to save a typical working family with two children under 12 years old up to GBP 4 000 a year and will have a positive gender impact by helping mainly women enter or return to the labour market after having children. In addition, childcare is not easily accessible to the disadvantaged as the current system involves restricted hours, part-payment or retrospective funding ([79]). To address this, the government has recently extended the statutory entitlement to 15 hours of free part-time pre-school nursery education during term-time for 3-4 year olds to also include 40% of two year olds in low income families."

Katiepoes Wed 24-Jun-15 14:03:35

I think this is being misrepresented. The report suggests that governments need to make it possible for mothers to work, not that they have to. So stuff like affordable childcare, flexible working hours, that type of thing. Of course the anti-EU side will prefer to see it as 'interfering', not a chance they'd ever actually look at an issue and see is there a problem.

plutonimum Wed 24-Jun-15 14:05:48

"Britain faces excessive levels of household debt, which combined with rising house prices pose a threat to economic stability" is a pretty sensible warning!

As is "Britain has a large proportion of young people with “comparatively low levels of basic skills”, and the number of children living in jobless homes is among the highest in the EU."

Both those factors can hurt individuals as well as society, so it's not as though the Council of Europe is asking parents to offer up their PFB to blood sacrifice!

weeburrower1 Wed 24-Jun-15 14:08:40

I think it reads like more of a criticism of the government and the fact that there are still barriers for women who have children in employment. It's true that mothers make up a large proportion of the part-time, low-paid workforce and that childcare costs are often prohibitive.

PosterEh Wed 24-Jun-15 14:15:46

I'm a SAHM and I have no problem with the report at all. It seems pretty much in line with what most of the political parties think anyway.
Personally I would prefer they focussed on readdressing the gender balance by encouraging more dads to stay home though.

Doesn't Germany have high levels of SAHM (P?) too?

Strictlyison Wed 24-Jun-15 14:26:27

Yes but isn't it the case in this country that high childcare cost is shopping many parents from going back to work?

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