Skip to main content
Kent Academic Repository

Women's employment patterns after childbirth and the perceived access to and use of flexitime and teleworking

Chung, Heejung, Van der Horst, Mariska (2018) Women's employment patterns after childbirth and the perceived access to and use of flexitime and teleworking. Human Relations, 71 (1). pp. 47-72. ISSN 0018-7267. E-ISSN 1741-282X. (doi:10.1177/0018726717713828) (KAR id:61677)

PDF Publisher pdf
Language: English

Download this file
[thumbnail of 0018726717713828.pdf]
Request a format suitable for use with assistive technology e.g. a screenreader
PDF Author's Accepted Manuscript
Language: English

Restricted to Repository staff only
Contact us about this Publication
[thumbnail of Women's employment patterns after childbirth.pdf]
Official URL:


This article sets out to investigate how flexitime and teleworking can help women maintain their careers after childbirth. Despite the increased number of women in the labour market in the UK, many significantly reduce their working hours or leave the labour market altogether after childbirth. Based on border and boundary management theories, we expect flexitime and teleworking can help mothers stay employed and maintain their working hours. We explore the UK case, where the right to request flexible working has been expanded quickly as a way to address work–life balance issues. The dataset used is Understanding Society (2009–2014), a large household panel survey with data on flexible work. We find some suggestive evidence that flexible working can help women stay in employment after the birth of their first child. More evidence is found that mothers using flexitime and with access to teleworking are less likely to reduce their working hours after childbirth. This contributes to our understanding of flexible working not only as a tool for work–life balance, but also as a tool to enhance and maintain individuals’ work capacities in periods of increased family demands. This has major implications for supporting mothers’ careers and enhancing gender equality in the labour market.

Item Type: Article
DOI/Identification number: 10.1177/0018726717713828
Uncontrolled keywords: women’s employment, women’s careers, flexible working, flexitime, telework, working hours, panel survey, UK
Subjects: H Social Sciences
Divisions: Divisions > Division for the Study of Law, Society and Social Justice > School of Social Policy, Sociology and Social Research
Depositing User: Heejung Chung
Date Deposited: 10 May 2017 08:35 UTC
Last Modified: 09 Dec 2022 05:16 UTC
Resource URI: (The current URI for this page, for reference purposes)

University of Kent Author Information

  • Depositors only (login required):

Total unique views for this document in KAR since July 2020. For more details click on the image.