Women over the age of 35 in Ireland have lower participation rates in the workforce than their EU counterparts.
That’s according to the National Recruitment Federation (NRF), who says the cost of childcare in Ireland is pushing women out of the workforce.
“It just makes no economic sense for many people to work and it’s impacting the workforce and recruitment due to the lower participation rate of women which has amplified the talent shortage”, said NRF President Frank Farrelly in a statement yesterday.
“While many might make the choice to work in the home, there are many women who would prefer to work.
“Due to the cost of childcare their talent and skills are missing from the workforce and this is across all sectors.”
In its pre-budget submission, the representative body for the State’s recruitment industry warned that Irish childcare costs – which are among the highest in the 36 OECD countries – are preventing women from working, and called for fees to be subsidised for one and two-year-olds ahead of the budget.
“Women over the age of 35 have lower participation rates in the workforce than their EU counterparts. Childcare, essentially its provision and cost, and aspects of the social welfare system that discourage jobseekers from taking up part-time work, are the main issues to address if women are to be supported in going back to work”, Farrelly claims.
The NRF said the low participation rates of women over the age of 35 needed to be addressed
In other countries, childcare costs are heavily subsidised by the State. But the lack of availability of affordable childminding and after-school childcare in Ireland is contributing to low rates of participation by women in the workforce, the NRF report says.
The NRF said the rapid decline in unemployment poses “significant challenges for the economy”, and the low participation rates of women over the age of 35 needed to be addressed.
Ireland is the second most expensive country for couples earning more than one and half times the average OECD wage to pay for childcare, while for lone parents earning 67 per cent of the average wage, it is the most expensive location. The average weekly cost of childcare for Irish parents is €155.60 per week (€622.40 per month), up from €123.50 per week in 2007.
The average weekly cost of childcare is highest in Dublin at €150 per child per week (or €600 per month) and lowest in the south-east of the country at €83 per child per week (€332 per month).