In response to Kathy Gyngell: Want a part-time health service? Then keep hiring women doctors, Ned Costello wrote:
Interestingly enough the police are suffering in a similar way. Since the rush for “diversity” and the relaxation of physical standards some years ago, the gender balance of most if not all UK police forces has altered drastically, with far more females recruited than ever before.
These being young women, of course, it is only a matter of time before they decide to have children and go on “flexible hours” to suit their new responsibilities. Very often their husband or partner is also in the police and also entitled to family-friendly hours.
Policing, of course, is a 24-hour a day job and they knew that when they joined. This leads to shortfalls in availability, lack of back-up when needed, and problems for everyone else in booking leave and days off. The chief constable of my local force recently observed that due to the need to re-organise the force in the face of the budget cuts imposed upon it, “Flexible hours are killing us”.