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women at work

Women’s wellbeing at work

Spinnaker was pleased to contribute to the Women & Work All Party Parliamentary Group’s 2020 report on Wellbeing at Work, which has now been published.

The Group, chaired by Jess Phillips MP and Laura Farris MP, wanted to look at wellbeing specifically:

We chose the APPG’s theme for 2020 of women’s wellbeing at work before we knew the full impact the virus would have on our economy, society and labour market. However, the pandemic has shone a light on wellbeing and its importance. Previously, wellbeing was often seen as a ‘luxury add-on’ or an issue for the home, unrelated to the workplace. However, the collision of home and work, coupled with the additional pressures of the pandemic, has demonstrated the inextricable link between wellbeing and work. The pandemic has exacerbated existing inequalities and women have suffered in different ways through unemployment, financial hardship and feelings of isolation. It has also become clear that we must view wellbeing holistically.”

Over the next weeks we will examine the report but we wanted to highlight the impact of the pandemic on women’s wellbeing and work lives in general in this first blog.

COVID challenges

Whilst the data shows that more men have died from COVID-19 globally compared to women, we know that women have been hit disproportionately by the economic and social impact in the UK. Here’s a snapshot of some of the ways women have been affected:

• 36% of young women work in sectors that have been closed, eg. restaurants, shops and leisure facilities
• 69% of low paid earners are women, and 54% of people on zero-hours contracts are women
• Mothers are reported to spend 5 hours per day home schooling as opposed to 2 hours a day from fathers
• 78% of women surveyed said they found it challenging managing childcare and their paid work during lockdown
• Women are 47% more likely to have lost their jobs or quit during this time, and are 14% more likely to have been furloughed
• Women’s monthly incomes are expected to fall by 26% as a result of the pandemic, as opposed to men’s falling by 18%

Ethnic minority backgrounds and disabled people affected

Deeper analysis shows that the sectors most affected have a higher-than-average proportion of workers from a minority ethnic background. A survey conducted by the Runnymede Trust found that only 35% of people from an ethnic minority background said they had not been affected financially by the pandemic, compared to 54% of white people.

Further, evidence from People Management highlights the impact of the pandemic on disabled people: 71% of disabled people in employment in March 2020 were affected by the pandemic, through a loss of income, being furloughed or being made redundant.

Next time we will shine a light on how employers can support women’s employment during this time.

For more information on the Women & Work APPG, contact our Spinnaker representative for the Group, Managing DirectorTeresa Peacock at [email protected]

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