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Just a quarter of parents say it’s financially worthwhile to go back to work

Written by: Danielle Levy
Only a quarter of workers believe that it is financially worthwhile to return to work after having a child, according to research.

Four fifths of working parents say high childcare costs stop them from living a comfortable lifestyle, a study carried out by LinkedIn has shown.

Based on responses from 4,000 LinkedIn users, half of parents estimated spending between 25% and 50% of their monthly household income on childcare.

This helps to explain why only 23% of the sample believed that it was worthwhile financially to return to work after having a child.

Half of parents said they had delayed having a child (by an average of up to two and a half years) in anticipation of the childcare bills they would have to cover. This helps to explain why 60% of millennials surveyed admitted they had delayed having children, which compares to 40% of their parents’ generation.

High earnings needed

The sample of UK workers felt they could only begin to feel comfortable covering the cost of childcare if they had a household income of more than £55,000 a year, rising to £73,000 in Greater London. This is a far cry from the average salary of £29,832 outside of London and £44,714 in Greater London.

The research also found that a quarter of men believe there is still a stigma associated with men looking after children, which may partly explain why only 2% of couples take advantage of shared parental leave, according to the Department of Business.

In addition, a third of people did not know if their employer currently offered support for parents, while one in four parents said they had considered switching to a career that is more accommodating to their family lifestyle.

Commenting on the findings, Jeremy Todd, chief executive at support network Family Lives, said: “We would urge parents to see what support their employers can offer to ease the pressure, and seek support from other parents who may be in similar situations or from organisations who can offer both emotional and practical advice.”

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