Mothers are hungry for work but feel that a lack of flexible working opportunities are holding them back, a poll of over 1,000 working mums has shown.
The second annual survey from Workingmums.co.uk revealed that as many as 73% blamed a lack of appropriate and available flexible jobs for their failure to return to work.
In a further sign of what working mums want, 86% said that flexi-hours are the most desired working condition.
Worryingly, 16% of those surveyed said their request for flexible working was turned down, sometimes with no consideration being given to it at all. Only 31% got the flexibility they requested, with 26% achieving a compromise with managers.
Bosses are also letting this pool of talent disappear, with 75% of respondents admitting that they are currently looking for a new job whilst almost half said they started a new job after taking time off for children.
Another important factor for those returning to work was being able to ease back into the job by increasing hours worked over time; being given time to settle back into work; being set clear targets and goals; and being able to keep in touch with work during maternity leave, including having a series of meetings with managers prior to return.
However, although over half of the mums surveyed said their employers made the right amount of effort to stay in contact during maternity leave, 22% had no contact at all and a third wanted more contact.