Mothers face greater discrimination in finding a job than disabled people, Asian women and the elderly, according to an interim report from the government-commissioned Equalities Review.
Women returning to work after starting a family face the highest ‘personal employment penalty’ of any group in society – they are about 40% less likely than the average white, able-bodied man to be offered a post, the report says.
Pakistani and Bangladeshi women face ‘a penalty’ of 29%; for the disabled it is 16%.
Women with children under 11 and a partner are 37% more likely to be unemployed, while the figure for lone mothers in the same situation is 41%, according to an analysis of labour market trends by Professor Richard Berthoud, a research fellow at the Institute for Economic and Social Research at Essex University.
The Equalities Review, commissioned last year by Tony Blair and led by Commission for Racial Equality chairman Trevor Phillips, is probing why serious inequality and poverty persist, despite decades of anti-discrimination policy and law. It is due to publish its recommendations in the summer.