Growing Up in Scotland (GUS) is a longitudinal research study which tracks the lives of thousands of children and their families in Scotland, from the early years, through childhood and beyond. This report draws on data collected from mothers in Birth Cohort 1 (BC1) and Birth Cohort 2 (BC2) when the cohort children were aged 10 months, 3 years and 5 years. For BC1, this means drawing on data collected in 2005/06, 2007/08 and 2008/09. For BC2 the corresponding data were collected in 2011, 2013 and 2015.
The report explores changes to mothers’ employment status and trajectories over time, examines the characteristics of mothers who were unable to find paid work, and looks at the main barriers these mothers face. It also identifies a number of characteristics and circumstances which appear to be associated with an increased likelihood of mothers giving up paid work after having a child and not returning within five years. In doing so, it addresses a number of questions relevant to policy makers and others who are seeking to enable and support mothers with young children who want to work but face barriers to doing so. For example, what are the main barriers faced by mothers who want to work? Who are the mothers most in need of support and how can they be supported?