Inflexible employers ‘miss out on talented staff’

As more women juggle careers with raising a young family, businesses willing to offer flexible working environments are becoming more attractive to working mothers.

DUBAI // Employers could be missing out on talented staff by not offering flexible working hours and adequate maternity leave, according to recruiters who help mothers back into work.

As more women juggle careers with raising a young family, businesses willing to offer flexible working environments are becoming more attractive to working mothers.

Louise Karim, managing director of Mums@Work, a recruitment consultancy helping women back into the workplace after childbirth, said the current 45-day entitlement was woefully short of what working mothers want.

“Companies extending their maternity leave not only have greater retention of employees, they also create a more productive and attractive workplace for women,” she said.

“Mothers need time to build a bond with their baby at such an important time, feel comfortable with childcare and return to the workplace happy.”

In a survey conducted with YouGov, Mums@Work found 77 per cent of mothers in the UAE who have taken time out from their careers to have children are keen to get back to work, and 49 per cent of those who are looking to return to work would do so only if there were flexible or part-time working options available.

Ms Karim said companies should also introduce options to reduce the strain on women forced to choose between their livelihoods and the needs of their babies.

She said: “The inflexibility of companies is causing businesses to lose out on one of the biggest untapped talent pools this region has to offer, which is such a waste given the talent war all businesses face to recruit and retain the best talent.”

nwebster@thenational.ae

Published: September 21, 2016 04:00 AM

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