A NUMBER of barriers are making it difficult for mothers in Wales to get into good-quality, well-paid jobs, a report has said.

The inquiry by the Welsh Assembly’s Equality, Local Government and Communities Committee, which is chaired by Newport East AM John Griffiths, found inflexible workplace structures and discrimination means mothers are more likely to be trapped in part-time, low-paid work with fewer opportunities for career progression.

In Wales 25 per cent of women with dependent children do not have jobs, compared with nine per cent of men. And women are paid on average 15 per cent less than men.

Among recommendations of the report are for all public sector jobs in Wales to be advertised as “flexible by default” and to allow for ministerial and councillor jobs to be job-shared.

Mr Griffiths said: “During the course of our inquiry we heard some shocking individual experiences: women who lost their jobs during maternity leave, careers derailed because of the lack of flexible work, and fathers prevented from taking on caring responsibilities because of cultural attitudes.

“These stories have directly influenced our conclusions and recommendations.

“Preventing a large proportion of the population from contributing their skills and experience to the workforce is not fair and does not make economic sense.

“In light of technological, social and economic changes, now is the time to modernise workplaces so that they are fit for the future for everyone, not just parents.

“We believe the Welsh Government can set a standard in promoting flexible working, ensuring organisations in receipt of public funding are flexible by default and by reassessing its new childcare offer.”

A survey carried out in 2016 found 71 per cent of mothers in Wales reported some level of discrimination by employers as a result of having children.