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Posted by on in Sex Discrimination
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Employers' views on maternity leave

A recent study investigating the opinions of employers with regard to maternity leave has found that almost two-thirds of employers do not expect their employees to return to work after taking maternity leave. Almost half of these employers base this opinion on 'previous experience.'

 

The research, conducted by www.Reabur.com, found that female employers were more likely to expect their staff to return from maternity leave, making up just 18% of the respondents who stated that they don’t expect their employee to return.

 

Around 41% of respondents said they had a 'return to work policy', and 76% of these policies offered the option of returning to work part time after maternity leave.

 

Sixteen percent of employers said they did not want their employee to come back after maternity leave. Of these, 38% said this was because they believed that the employee would have a ‘reduced level of concentration’ once they returned to work, and 23% thought the returning employee would ‘lack enthusiasm,’ when compared to a newly hired member of staff.

 

Kirsty Burgess, Co-Managing Director of Reabur.com, said:

 

“Although many women do indeed decide to take further time off, this is in no way the norm, especially with the rising cost of childcare it has become more essential for women to return to work. This is a personal decision for an individual to make, and employers need to be really careful about making assumptions- if that message gets back to the employee they could find themselves defending a discrimination claim”

 

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