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Publication - Research Publication

Growing Up in Scotland: patterns of maternal employment and barriers to paid work

Published: 1 Nov 2017
Part of:
Children and families, Education, Research, Work and skills
ISBN:
9781788513692

This report uses data from the Growing Up in Scotland study to investigate the employment patterns of mothers during the first 5 years of their child's life.

85 page PDF

911.8kB

85 page PDF

911.8kB

Contents
Growing Up in Scotland: patterns of maternal employment and barriers to paid work
Footnotes

85 page PDF

911.8kB

Footnotes

1. Mothers who were not in paid work were asked if they had actively looked for work in the last four weeks.

2. Note that these are not necessarily the same mothers as those who were looking for work when the cohort children were aged 10 months.

3. At this age, around half of the children in the GUS cohort had started school.

4. Data from the child cohort were not used for this report. The child cohort included approximately 3,000 children born between June 2002 and May 2003. In total, four ‘sweeps’ of data were collected from these families: first when the children were aged just under 3, and then annually until the children were just under 6.

5. In addition to the data collected through face-to-face in-home visits, data were also collected through the use of short online and telephone surveys with the child’s main carer when the children in BC1 were in Primary 5 and Primary 7.

6. Additional data were collected through the use of short online and telephone questionnaires at the time the children in BC2 were aged 4.

7. Science, Technology, Engineering and Maths.

8. ‘Work’ includes many forms of labour, including un-paid caring work. For simplicity, however, in this report the terms ‘paid work’ and ‘work’ are used interchangeably.

9. At each sweep interviews took place around six weeks before the child’s next birthday. Therefore, in the first year of the study, children were around 10 months old. For the purposes of this report, beyond the first interview, the child’s age is referred to in years. It is worth bearing in mind however that a 3 year old child was actually around 34 months old or just under 3, and a 5 year old child was actually around 58 months or just under 5.

10. In a small number of cases at any sweep of data collection, the main respondent is the child’s father, grandparent or another carer.

11. Note that throughout the report, notions of ‘work’ and ‘paid work’ are used interchangeably. Note also that, unless otherwise stated, the term ‘in paid work’ includes mothers who are self-employed.

12. In the BC1 10 month questionnaire, not all mothers who said they were not in paid work were subsequently asked whether they were looking for work. As such, the cohort comparison is not wholly possibly at this age point.

13. Results are reported in Tables 1 to 6 in the Technical Annex.

14. See Table 2 and Table 6 in the Technical Annex.

15. ’Not looked very hard: other reasons’ included things like moving house, pregnant, going into education, only recently started looking, already found job, ill health.

16. ’Other reasons’ included lack of experience/qualifications, competitive job market, and no particular reason given (e.g. ‘Don’t know’).

17. Results not shown. Available on request.

18. ‘Full time’ and ‘part time’ were left to respondents themselves to define.

19. Results are provided in Table 8‑1 in the Appendix B.

20. This was not necessarily the cohort child.

21. Results are provided in Table 8‑1 in Appendix B.

22. Results are provided in Table 8‑1 in Appendix B.

23. Numbers in the GUS data were too small to run separate analysis of this.

24. These eight combinations covered the possible combinations of mothers being either in work or out of work at each of the three sweeps. Mothers for whom information was missing at one or more sweeps were excluded from the analysis.

25. The data does not take into account mothers’ employment status outside of these time points. It is possible that mothers who were in work at all three time points where GUS data were collected may have been out of work at some other points during this period. Conversely, mothers who were out of work at all three sweeps may have been in work at other time points during the period.

26. Additional analysis (not shown) showed no differences in patterns when restricting the analysis to cases where the cohort child was the youngest in the household.

27. Some initial analysis was conducted using information collected at the time the child was aged 5. Using information collected at this age did not make any substantive differences to the results.

28. For mothers who were in paid work at the time of the sweep 1 interview, information was collected about their current job, while for mothers who were not in work the information was collected about their most recent job. However, even if a mother changed jobs between pregnancy and the time her child was aged 10 months, in most cases such a shift is unlikely to incur a change in occupational classification. Indeed, additional analysis looking solely at mothers who did not change jobs in the first 10 months since the child’s birth showed only minor differences to the results presented here. For example, the proportion of mothers in professional and managerial occupations who returned to work was 46% among all mothers and 47% of mothers among mothers who did not change jobs.

29. A definition of the measure of family-friendly working facilities is provided in Appendix A.

30. Information about access to family-friendly working facilities was collected at sweep 1. Information was collected about mothers’ current or most recent job and was collected from mothers who worked as employees only. Access to family-friendly working facilities is something which may actively influence mothers’ choice of post-birth employer. For example, mothers who changed jobs after having a child may have done so specifically in order to get access to more family-friendly working facilities. Therefore, analyses including measures of access to family-friendly working facilities were restricted to cases where the mother had not changed jobs in the first 10 months following the child’s birth. (More specifically, this was done by restricting the analysis to cases where the mother was either not in work at sweep 1 or was employed by the same employer).

31. A reduction in childcare costs is likely to have occurred as the child turned 3. First, childminders and nurseries often offer lower rates for older children. Second, in 2013 and 2015 pre-school aged children in Scotland were eligible for 12-15 hours of free pre-school education per week.

32. It is also possible that the apparent lack of difference found between single and partnered mothers at these ages is simply down to the smaller base sizes, which mean that any differences between single and partnered mothers in the sample would have to be considerably larger for us to be confident that they were real differences in the population.

33. The apparent difference between mothers who left and remained in/returned to work was not statistically significant.

34. Results are provided in Table 7 in the Technical Annex.

35. Results are provided in Table 8 in the Technical Annex.

36. As previously noted, information about access to family-friendly working facilities was collected at sweep 1. Information was collected about mothers’ current or most recent job and was collected from mothers who worked as employees only.

37. Results are provided in Table 9 in the Technical Annex.

38. Results are provided in Table 10 in the Technical Annex.

39. 120 partners who were not in paid work were added to the lowest income group (incomes up to £12,000 per year).

40. Partners on ‘middle’ incomes are here defined as partners with an income of £15,600-£31,200 per year. Partners on ‘high’ incomes are defined as partners with an income of more than £31,200 per year.

41. Results are provided in Table 11 in the Technical Annex.

42. The low base sizes mean that differences between sub groups need to be relatively large for us to be confident that they are also occurring in the population.

43. Due to small numbers this was not possible to test in the analysis carried out here.


Contact

Email: Ganka Mueller

Phone: 0300 244 4000 – Central Enquiry Unit

The Scottish Government
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