General Article ‘Motherhood penalty’ leaves British gender equality worse than Poland and Hungary

Topic Selected: Gender Equality Book Volume: 432

Childcare costs put UK behind 13 other OECD countries for workplace equality.

By Eir Nolsøe

Britain has fallen behind Poland and Hungary in gender equality rankings as excessively high childcare costs keep women out of the workforce.

The UK now ranks 14th among 33 OECD countries for workplace equality, according to a new report from PwC.

Britain has fallen five places in the rankings over the last year, dropping behind Finland, Belgium, Ireland, Hungary and Poland.

PwC said rising childcare costs were keeping British mothers out of the workforce and holding back their lifetime career progression.

Nursery fees in Britain have risen by a fifth since 2017, significantly outpacing inflation. The availability of childcare providers has shrunk by 10% in the past four years.

Larice Stielow, senior economist at PwC, said: ‘For many it is more affordable to leave work than remain in employment and pay for childcare, especially for families at lower income levels.’

PwC found the gender pay ga...

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