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More small firms hiring working mums

A fifth of small businesses in the UK are planning to hire more returning mothers than they did a year ago according to a new survey.

More small firms hiring working mumsA fifth of small businesses in the UK are planning to hire more returning mothers than they did a year ago according to a new survey.

A poll of 2,000 SMEs by Regus found that returning mothers are particularly valued by small businesses because of their experience and skillset as well as their reliability and excellent time management. In addition, returning mothers are seen as less likely to change jobs, saving firms the cost of recruitment and re-training.

The survey found that:

  • 71% of those polled valued returning mothers for their skills and experience;
  • 25% said they were more reliable than other staff;
  • 30% said they were more organised;
  • 19% reported that working mothers were very hardworking;
  • 17% said they were were caring managers.

A fifth of those surveyed also pointed to the fact that working mothers are driven to prove their worth. Unsurprisingly, 81% of those polled said flexible working is key to attracting and retaining women workers.

"There is a vast amount of untapped potential among skilled and experienced mothers who are unable to work due to family commitments," said Celia Donne, global operations director at Regus.

"Flexible working enables companies to tap into this important talent supply and offer returning mothers a way back into the workforce. The benefits to businesses are clear; not least, lower staff turnover and associated hiring and training costs. But in order to retain these valuable employees it is critical that firms offer some level of flexible working, such as the possibility to work closer to home."

A 2013 study by Government body the Women's Business Council found that if women were represented in the same numbers as men in the workforce, GDP growth would be up to 10% higher by 2030. It also found that 2.4 million more women want to work and 1.3 million would like to increase their hours.

Donne said: "The case for increasing flexible working is very strong. Add to that the value placed on returning mothers and it is evident that businesses need to reassess their use of flexible working to attract top female talent."

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