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10 March 2013
A survey commissioned by Slater and Gordon finds that more than 1 in 7 women did not have a job to go back to.
Slater and Gordon commissioned a poll ahead of Mother’s Day to survey the experience of new mothers returning to work. The poll found that 14.8% of mothers did not have a job to return to after taking maternity leave, and 11% of women had been replaced by their maternity leave cover.
Slater and Gordon Maternity Discrimination lawyers recognise this as the experience of many of their clients, but were surprised at the scale of the findings in the general public. The survey also found that 45% of women polled felt the job they had returned to was worse in some way to the job they had left, reflecting a common experience of demotion or adverse change on their return. Further, over a quarter of women who sought to make their positions more amenable to new motherhood by requesting flexible working were refused, with almost 2 in 5 refused the right to part time hours.
These statistics show the real cost of discrimination to new mothers, and to the next generation. Close to 20% of women said their finances suffered as a result of taking maternity leave. And, showing the human as well as financial cost, more than 1 in 10 new mothers surveyed said they suffered physical or mental ill-health resulting from employment changes.
Slater and Gordon Employment Lawyer Samantha Mangwana said, "Mother’s Day ought to be a time to celebrate families and the important role women play in raising future generations. Yet, mothers continue to suffer unfairly when returning to work.
"More than half of the women polled suffered in silence because they were either unsure of their rights, they didn’t know where to turn for help or they thought seeking help would damage their future career prospects. New mothers are especially vulnerable since it is often the first time they are wholly responsible for another life.
"The statistics revealed by this survey are sad and shocking. It is against the law to be sacked or treated unfairly because you are pregnant, or taking maternity leave. Be reassured that these legal protections are there – and they are strong. The law is on your side."
The key findings of the survey included:-
For more information call our Employment Solicitors on freephone 0800 916 9060 or contact us online.
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