New mums are entitled to 52 weeks of maternity leave and get up to 39 weeks of statutory maternity pay.Despite this, according to the National Childbirth Trust (NCT) 43 per cent of mothers on maternity leave are too afraid to take their full maternity leave.
Of these, 47 per cent of these mothers say it is because of worries over job security.
Paternity leave doesn’t help either
While the Coalition government has introduced new rules that enable new mums to share their maternity leave with their partners (apart from the first two weeks), unsurprisingly, 37 per cent of women say that they would not even consider sharing their maternity leave.
Half of those who say that they would not consider sharing their maternity leave say that they needed the income from their partner’s pay; and more than a third of those women also said it was because they felt it was their responsibility as a mother to stay at home and look after their child.
What can you do if you feel pressure to return to work?
If you feel like you’re being mistreated at work, or feel under pressure to return to work for fear of losing your job, you may have a case to claim against your employer.
Get help and support
Read or guide Pregnant Don’t Get Ripped off in Your Workplace for more details on what to do if you are being treated unfairly while pregnant r on maternity leave.