Assembly wants Mayor to create realistic part-time jobs for parents

05 March 2014

The London Assembly has urged the Mayor to create more part-time jobs for parents to balance work with caring responsibilities and meet his manifesto promise “to create 20,000 part-time jobs to help parents return to work”.

The Assembly’s Economy Committee has found that despite having a highly-qualified female workforce, at 62 per cent, London has the lowest rate of employment for women with children in the country. The lack of flexible working arrangements, in jobs across the income spectrum, is partly the cause.

A motion agreed [1] today says the Assembly wants to see the Mayor take action to promote part-time jobs specifically for parents balancing work and caring responsibilities.

Stephen Knight AM, who proposed the motion, said:

“The rate of maternal employment in London is the lowest in the country. We also have fewer opportunities for parents returning to work to access high quality part time jobs. This means London is missing out on using the skills of qualified people.

“The Mayor needs to meet his 2012 commitments to create 20,000 part-time jobs by taking concrete action, not crossing his fingers and hoping the economy will do it for him”.

Fiona Twycross AM, who seconded the motion, said:

“There are certainly broader issues around parental employment including the cost of childcare and the high level of redundancies for women returning to work after maternity leave. Many women are also frustrated with the lack of opportunities and career structure in part-time work.

“If the Mayor can provide timely and measurable outcomes to increase the number of part-time jobs, it will be a step in the right direction to increase the rate of parental employment in the capital.”

The full text of the motion is:

“This Assembly notes the Mayor’s 2012 manifesto commitment to “lead a campaign for 20,000 part-time jobs to help parents return to work”. The Assembly’s Economy Committee found that despite having a highly-qualified female workforce, the rate of maternal employment in London is the lowest in the country and that the lack of flexible working arrangements, in jobs across the income spectrum, is partly the cause.

This Assembly would welcome a drive by the Mayor to specifically create part-time jobs with a view to enabling parents to balance work with caring responsibilities. However the Assembly is concerned that instead of measuring how many part-time jobs the Mayor has created, he is merely estimating the number of part-time jobs created by applying the general rate of part-time employment in London to the number of jobs created via GLA programmes. The Assembly does not believe this is an accurate or reliable measure of the Mayor’s manifesto commitment to create 20,000 part-time jobs to help parents return to work.

The Assembly therefore calls on the Mayor to come forward with a clear proposal and timetable for his campaign to create part-time positions and to directly and transparently monitor his progress, so that parents can be helped back into the workforce and so that Londoners can understand whether or not the Mayor has delivered his manifesto commitment.”

Notes to editors

  1. The motion was agreed 16 votes for to 5 against at a meeting of the full Assembly today. Watch the webcast.
  2. The Economy Committee investigated Parental Employment in London and published its findings in December 2013.
  3. Stephen Knight AM who proposed the motion is available for interviews. Please see contact details below.
  4. As well as investigating issues that matter to Londoners, the London Assembly acts as a check and a balance on the Mayor.

For more details, please contact Alice Andrewartha in the Assembly Media Office on 020 7983 4603. For out-of-hours media enquiries please call 020 7983 4000 and ask for the Assembly duty press officer. Non-media enquiries should be directed to the Public Liaison Unit, Greater London Authority, on 020 7983 4100.