Pay Penalty For Part-Time Working Mums

Pay Penalty For Part-Time Working Mums

Are you a mum who works part-time? If so, you could be getting stung by a pay penalty, according to new research.

Metro reports:

By the time a first child reaches the age of 20, mothers earn around 30% less on average than similarly educated fathers, said a report funded by the Joseph Rowntree Foundation and published by the Institute of Financial Studies. Some of the gap is explained by mothers in part-time jobs or taking a break from work.

It seems many of us are missing out on pay rises associated with those in jobs with more experience, because part-time jobs, which best lend themselves to working around school hours, tend to have limited opportunities to progress accordingly.

Of course, none of this is new – the gender wage gap has been in existence since time immemorial but it's galling to think that part-time work for mums might not be the solution that many of us assume it to be.

The Mirror reports:

Helen Barnard, head of analysis at the Joseph Rowntree Foundation, said: "It's just not right that we treat part-time workers as if they are less valuable than full-timers. The majority of women working part-time are mothers, who often work part-time so that they can also take care of children or other adults. But they pay a heavy price for trying to balance these two roles. The poverty rate for part-time workers is double that for full-time workers.

We'd like to hear your views on this piece of research. Do you work part-time and, if so, do you feel you're suffering a pay penalty? Or have you decided not to work part-time because of this or other factors?

Leave us a comment here or come and join the conversation over on our Facebook page.


  • Claire C.

    I have a lot to say on this topic if someone wants to contact me. With the help of CAB I’m actually complaining about HB as I’ve been entitled to nothing as a part time working single Mum and my case has been completely mishandled. I’ve been advised to also send copies to my MP due to numerous failings.

  • Kate H.

    I’m a part time working Mum, I have a reasonably paid job with amazing flexibility, I don’t have too much pressure and get a decent annual leave deal. I have absolutely no career progression routes available in my current role but I just don’t care. I’m happy being able to arrive at work and not take it home with me at the end of the day. I sacrificed my immediate career plans to bring up my kids but have maintained a solid job helping me contribute to my family. People keep forgetting to mention in articles like this that a part time working daddy single or with a full time working wife will likely get the same deal so I fail to see the point in the gender based article.

    • Sarah D.

      loads of families single or not are in exactly the same boat, no one is discriminated against as everyone is treated the same ..they don't want to help anyone

      • Ash93

        Or rather we at the bottom are all descrimination against equally! Regardless of race, gender, single or in a relationship we are all being squeezed by those above us. I agree with you.

    • Kate H.

      The article is written specifically to get a rise, they mention women straight off being paid less, make a reasonable assumption that this is because they’ve taken time out to raise a family etc, then throw in the pity card because making a decision to take time out to raise your family instead of pursuing your career full time once you’ve had kids makes you vulnerable and unequal.... it’s common sense, if you decide to spend 5+ years not working or working a suitable job part time then it is highly likely you won’t have progressed as far in your career as a person who has been working 48 hours solid every week and doesn’t need to worry about finishing bang on 3:30 to get to the childminder!

    • Kyleigh C.

      Please tell me what you do! I need that job!!!

    • Lisa R.

      I'm in same boat as u. Although did my job originally full time and then went part time, I don't think I would have got my part-time hours and flexibility as a new starter. Like you I have sacrificed career progression for flexibility and it working round my kids, it's not easy!

    • Lisa R.

      Oh and I'm regularly told I do more work than some of the full timers, who get paid 15k more than me because they do 40 hours and I do 16!

  • Sarah D.

    work 24 hours a week , single mum, pay full rent of near 500 a month. .been told i don't qualify for help with rent , just get on with it tho least don't have them hanging round my neck for pay slips and losing all my evidence every single time I put it in :rage:

  • Jadey J.

    Being a mother who works part time I feel that I am in a fortunate position to have the job that I am in. It falls into the profession of which I will pursue my future career and most importantly it fits in with my daughter's nursery care. Yes, 80% of my salary is paying for her nursery fees but what is important to me right now is having the money to keep her there as she is so happy.

    I might not earn a lot and I reminisce on my financial gains and stability pre-children and yes I do miss my old extravagant lifestyle, but we need to remember that there will be a time in the near future where we will be able to work full time and pursue our careers and regain that lifestyle we once knew.

    There is no point in feeling so hard done by and feel beaten up by this situation, and as hard as it is to say, we chose to have children and we didn't walk into parenthood blindly.

  • Amy W.

    Agree...I hate being labelled the 'part timer' for various reasons....I work just as hard and have two primary age kids to look after. I feel I cannot progress while I can't work full time. Very frustrated.

  • Caroline B.

    I'm a single parent work 4 days pay full rent and full council tax. They don't help at all

  • Paula C.

    I'm the same as Kate. I work part time, flexible hours, not a bad hourly wage. I work whilst my Daughter is at School.

  • Sharon H.

    I work 20 hours week, divorced parent, 3 children, well 2 adult sons and an autistic 7 almost 8 year old, I don't get housing or council tax benefit, my youngest gets transport to special school needs school because it's more than 3 miles and my local council, is even trying to take that away from him, as they seem to think a child his age can walk 3 miles to and from school every day, I think more need to be done to support single working families, whether they work full time or part time male or female, the transport my son gets is the only help we get from our local council

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