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Few companies accommodate working mothers

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British women are putting their health at risk as they struggle to cope with the exhausting and constant demands of juggling work and home, and their employers don’t make things easier. More than three-quarters of the 5,000 women questioned in a national survey of work and lifestyle attitudes said that overworking was damaging their health and nine out of 10 feel worn out by their stressful lifestyles.

The Top Sante Women and Work survey in association with BUPA found that more than 73 percent of the women questioned work full-time, while 88 percent feel that they are expected to perform too many roles. More than 80 percent of women say it is they, rather than their partners, who have to take time off work to care for their children when they are ill and almost the same figure take responsibility for doing ‘most of the chores in the home’.

This stressful lifestyle means that more than half of the women questioned cannot find time to take a lunch break at work and find it impossible to fit exercise into their lives. To wind down after a stressful day at work, almost half of the women questioned usually rely on a glass of wine.

The survey also found that 88 percent of working women say they frequently feel under stress trying to balance their lives and almost one third of working women admit that they take time off work due to stress. More than half are concerned that they pass on this stress to their children.

More than half of all companies still make no allowances for working women with children, with only five percent offering a company creche and only four percent help with childcare. Less than a third of all companies offer female employees the chance of a job share and only 43 percent allow flexible working hours.

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