Clare Roberts, of PA Consulting Group, confirms that PA's recent surveys of executive benefits have shown no increase in creche facilities to help working mothers.
Marks and Spencer, widely regarded as a model employer, offers flexible shifts to suit working mothers. The company believes that workplace nurseries are not the answer and is currently looking at a family care programme in which help for elderly parents will feature as well as care for children. At M and S the focus of employee welfare benefits for the 1990s is health and fitness. Facilities include breast screening for all women staff and wives of all male staff, a dental income plan and a gym at head office - "for the use of those who NEED exercise", says a spokesman.
So medical, sports and restaurant facilities now form a triumvirate of concerns in most major UK organisations. According to a survey of Britain's top 500 companies carried out by BUPA last summer, corporate fitness is now increasingly seen in terms of healthier eating at work, better sports facilities and, inevitably, more widespread restrictions on smoking. According to BUPA, seven out of 10 companies are now spending more on health care than they were three years ago and none are spending less. Significantly, BUPA now offers stress counselling as part of its health care programmes.