Tackling Childcare Pakistan

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Create Family-Friendly Workplaces

Access to affordable, high-quality childcare can make a difference in women’s ability to access better and more lucrative jobs. Pakistan’s women do more than 90% of all unpaid care work, while the women’s participation rate in the labor force is only 23 percent (ILO 2019, 2020). Employer-supported childcare is a supplement to public provision. It can also be used in conjunction with other family-friendly policies like paid leave and safe transportation. Flexible work arrangements and other benefits are a benefit for women, children and businesses.

Part of an IFC-Pakistan Business Council collaboration, this study surveyed 140 private sector companies in Pakistan. It also interviewed working parents, policymakers and childcare providers to determine the challenges and opportunities to expand employer-supported childcare in Pakistan. The study revealed that only 27% of the employers surveyed provide support for employees’ childcare needs, in spite of the fact that there are many provincial regulations requiring it. The good news is that nearly all employers who offer this support report significant business benefits. These include increased productivity, decreased absenteism, turnover and higher profitability as a result.

Based on the findings of the research and the business case for employer-supported care, this report recommends actions for the public sector, employers and childcare providers. Employers can consider multiple options to meet their employees’ childcare needs. The public sector can help make Pakistani workplaces more family-friendly by providing clear guidelines and incentives to employers.

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