Maternity leave issues – the latest research
Juggling a family and a career is one of life’s most difficult tasks – ask any working mum. Not only is the time factor a major challenge but so is negotiating your role as parent at work – an understanding boss goes a long way to making ‘the great juggle’ that much easier.
There are laws in place to protect mums and mums-to-be in the work place but an employer’s attitude to these laws makes life either pleasant or not.
In a recent national survey it was revealed a record 13.4% of senior employees think employers are out of touch with working mums and plan to quit the industry in the next two years if employers continue to deny flexible provisions for those wishing to return from maternity leave and maintain negative attitudes.
This suggestion is bolstered by research conducted by Hanson Search in association with the Chartered Institute of Public Relations (CIPR), which concluded the following:
On the part of employers:
* 9.4% of employers felt they had serious reservations about hiring women aged between 30-40 years old fearing they would, at some point, fall pregnant.
* fear of losing a valuable resource (57.5%), stability (49.7%), staffing upheaval (35.3%) and the challenge to fill the recruitment gap (51.1%) were among the long-term concerns from industry bosses regarding the direct impact on the business if a senior female employee considered maternity leave.
On the part of employees (mums who have been on maternity leave):
* 62% of employees feeling that they will be discriminated against if they were to become pregnant.
* 49.3% of respondents HAVE observed maternity leave issues or problems among colleagues directly related to their return from maternity leave, such as difficulty with flexible working hours (64.6%), reduction in perceived status (59.9%) and negotiating part-time employment (53.2%).
* As a result of anxiety over returning to work, 48.2% of respondents reported lack of self-belief in their ability to do their job as effectively as before they were on maternity leave – worsened by a fear of being undermined by their peers (78.4%) once they return.
The stats make being pregnant at work sound like a majorly depressing affair, which is not the case at all.
My experience was flawless – my employers were gracious and I felt well looked after. And there are other mums who have had similar positive experiences.
The point is this: know your rights and entitlements.
Know your worth and don’t be afraid to voice it. Keep communication channels open and have conversations with your employers.
As women, we are invaluable members of society; as caregivers and as workers
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