Research has identified blatant discrimination by employers in regards to maternity leave and not offering their full position on their return to the workforce.
Analysis by the House of Commons library found 14% of the 340,000; this is equivalent to approximately 50,000 ladies who take a break from work to bear children every year, who then find their positions under threat when they look to take back their job roles.
Looking closer at the situation, it shows a stark reality of what is offered to returning mothers and their future prospects. In most cases their positions are lessened of responsibility while others are effectively constructively dismissed. Those who do return to the same job sometimes find it harder to get promotion, leading to a growing pay gap between men and women in later life which has been a hot topic of research and more worrying statistics of late.
Many are told that they cannot do their old part-time job or are offered part-time when were previously full-time. This has led to effecting one in 20 accepting a completely different job role within a company and more than a quarter of women had their request for flexible hours refused.
Shadow home secretary Yvette Cooper, herself a mother of three, commented on the problem by saying: “Businesses and the economy depend on the work women do. Families depend on mums being able to spend time with their newborn.
“Yet the evidence shows that too often new mothers are let down at an incredibly important time. The scale of discrimination during maternity leave is a hidden disgrace.”
“Many find their job changed with no consultation, many miss out on pay rises too. Half of returning mothers say the job they returned to was worse than the one they had before.
“We need national action to deal with maternity discrimination including tackling irresponsible employers who are breaking the law.”