Should we open nurseries in vacant high street units to encourage mothers back to work?

From: Gregg McClymont, Director of policy at The People’s Pension, Manor Royal, West Sussex

Pensions inequality between men and women – the gender pensions gap – is widening amongst people in Sussex and across the UK.

One of the reasons for this is that women who have children and break from the workforce or return to work on reduced roles or hours aren’t able to contribute as much to their pension pots as men in full-time roles.

A recent survey found that half of women in the region who didn’t return to work after having children said that it made more financial sense to stop working instead of paying for childcare.

More than four in 10 women with children aged 10 and under said they would be encouraged to return to work with the same role and working hours if affordable suitable childcare was available. With the costs of childcare so high in the UK this isn’t surprising.

We’re calling for government to revive Britain’s dying high street and encourage nurseries to open in vacant units all over the country. With typically good transport links, opening nurseries in the high street and reducing business tax rates for private nurseries could boost footfall in the high street and be a boon to local businesses. We need to do more to ensure that women who want to remain in the workforce after having children can do so with equal opportunities.