Crisis, thousands of mothers disappear from the job market every year. “Impossible to reconcile employment with child care, it is not a choice. The covid will make things worse, smart-working only a patch”

Every year suddenly about 35 thousand mothers disappear from the job market. As if an entire town disappeared. In 2019 there were more than 37 thousand, but in 2020 we will have to deal with the effects of Covid-19. The data contained in the 2019 report of theNational Labor Inspectorate on the validation of the resignations and consensual resolutions of the mother workers (73% of the total) and of the father workers does not represent a cold shower for the national equality councilor, Francesca Bagni Cipriani however, at she says she is still worried about “what will happen in the coming months, because it is clear that the emergency related to Coronavirus has highlighted even more how much infrastructure and a support system for female workers are lacking in our country that they have children. ” Not only that: “We are taking action for monthly monitoring of the situation, because I imagine that the number of resignations will increase and, when the bans on dismissals are removed, we will face new problems “.

INAIL REPORT DATA – During 2019, 51,558 validation orders were issued for consignments and consensual resolutions, slightly higher (+ 4%) than the 49,451 of 2018. The prevalence (over 98% of the total) of the relative validations is confirmed to resignations, which are 50,674, of which over 95% volunteers and more than 3% for just cause. The category of consensual resolutions remained residual (around 2%). Most of the measures concerned, once again, working mothers: 37,611 (73% of the total), percentage equal to that of 2018, but in absolute numbers there is an increase (over 1,600 more). Age is also emblematic: 75% of the measures, for both sexes, concern the age groups ranging from 34 to 44 years old and from 29 to 34 years old. “This is a disturbing fact – explains Bagni Cipriani – because we talk about women who are at their full potential, who have studied, obtained a degree, followed a path and we throw away their competence. On the other hand, there is no general reception system and women know it, it is useless to go around it, which is so much up to them. ” As in previous years, the validations have mostly (about 60% of the total) involved workers and workers with only one child or expecting the first. However, the percentage – more than 33% – of male and female workers with two children was also confirmed.

THE MOTIVATIONS – Among the reasons for the resignation and consensual resolutions, in fact, the most recurring remained the difficulty of reconciling employment with childcare needs, recorded in 20,730 cases (35% of the total). This may be due to the absence of support relatives (in 27% of cases), the high incidence of the cost of assistance to the newborn as a nursery or babysitter (in 7%) or the lack of reception at the nursery (in 2% of cases). Another reason (it happens for 18% of the measures) is represented by the difficulty in reconciling work with child care for company reasons where service is provided (almost 11 thousand cases), especially for working conditions, particularly difficult or not compatible with the management of children, but also for changes in the workplace and distance between this and the home, timetables, changes in the tasks performed and failure to grant part time. The figure relating to resignations and consensual terminations for transfer to another company was still growing (there are over 20 thousand, for another 35% of the total).

THE NON CHOICE – “Up to three or four years ago – explains the national equality councilor – the reasons related to the resignation were mainly linked to the fact that there was not an adequate number of nests, while today among the first reasons we find the lack of support in the care of children by grandparents (and we are talking about data prior to the health emergency, ed) e the price too high of the fees of the same nests“. This means that costs are a greater problem than the availability of places and translates into the loss of freedom in making a choice: “We do the math at home and we come to the conclusion that it’s up to the woman, who earns less, to give up work , because in economic terms it is better than paying a high fee. A legitimate decision, but it is no longer a choice“. What are the suitable tools to give concrete support? “Right now, there are a number of measures in the pipeline and many economic resources – underlines Bagni Cipriani – only that we need to understand what the final destination will be”.

PART-TIME AND SMART WORKING KNOTS – Another significant figure regards part-time, which could represent a good compromise. Yet, compared to the previous year, it has remained the percentage (21%) of acceptance of part-time requests or flexibility remained stable presented by male and female workers interested in the validations: 436 out of 2,085 requests were accepted. “This is an important issue that we also address in the annual report on the activities of the directors throughout Italy – explains Bagni Cipriani – and which focuses on the discrimination problem. This year reports of discrimination have increased, exceeding 3 thousand (84% concern women), but there are about a thousand those actually taken care of by our advisors, because women workers do not go on for fear of retaliationthe”. Most of the discriminations are related to maternity and difficulties in reconciling work and private life “but it is also frequent that among the reasons there is a rejected request for part-time. Which should instead be granted ”. The lockdown could have given a new opportunity: smart working. “At this stage it is necessary that the government works on a planning – comments the councilor – because smart working contradicted the initial idea and, imposed at the last moment without any training, it was just a patch. Very difficult to manage for mothers who have also had to teach their children, in some cases with results that I imagine disastrous. Instead, I think of a network that can count on a school assistance system, very different from a kind of parking. We need to work immediately on these fronts because the feeling is that trouble will start now ”.

WHICH SOLUTIONS – And while, not surprisingly, the CGIL asks for a meeting with the executive after the umpteenth “alarming confirmation of the difficulty of being mothers and workers” and the CISL speaks of “unacceptable” situations, precisely the Minister of Labor and Social Policy , Nunzia Catalfo, intervened commenting on the numbers of the National Labor Inspectorate. “For working mothers, the first three years of a child’s life represent the period in which more support is needed. We have already made a first step forward – he recalled – with the Family Act in which, among other things, in addition to the single check and the strengthening of parental leave, there is a reserve share of the provision of the Guarantee Fund for small and medium-sized enterprises for the start-up of new female start-up companies and accompaniment for the first two years “. The government official spoke of another phenomenon. “It is my intention – he announced – initiate a serious action against the involuntary part-time, which mainly penalizes women and, as established by the Government program, to introduce – in the shortest possible time and involving Parliament – a law on gender equality in pay ”. For the undersecretary Francesca Puglisi the solution must be sought “in the implementation of the network of early childhood education services, especially in the south of the country, which are a source of direct and indirect female employment and an indispensable lever for reconciling the working life times of the parenting couple”, but also in a “decisive intervention for the full sharing of the care work by promoting a single 80% paid leave for fathers and mothers, of which 20% is not transferable to the other parent “.

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