Survey shows one in three mums find return to work difficult

One in three women find going back to work after having a baby ‘difficult’ or ‘very difficult’, according to new survey published by the National Childbirth Trust.

One in three women find going back to work after having a baby ‘difficult’ or ‘very difficult’, according to new survey published by the National Childbirth Trust.

Some 39% said they had had problems, with 31% reporting their relationship with their boss had deteriorated since they had become pregnant.

The study, which surveyed over 1,500 mothers who have recently gone back to work, also found that one in three (32%) felt their promotion prospects had been reduced since having a baby, while 13% said they have reduced seniority since returning to work.

Belinda Phipps, Chief Executive of the NCT, says: "Mums often want or need to go back to work. Despite changes to the welfare system to encourage mothers to return to work, and a raft of legislation for employers, the reality is many still find returning to work after a baby an incredibly daunting and difficult experience.

"It’s time employers got a grip not just of their policies and paper work but how to help their managers talk to and support mums after what is often the most important and life changing event of their lives."

Some 88% of mothers who were surveyed wanted to work flexibly on their return to work. However, one in six (16%) of those said their request for flexible working practices had gone nowhere.

The NCT and the charity Working Families have published two free downloadable guides for mothers and employers to help them have a smooth return to work. They include tips on preparing a handover plan, keeping records of agreements, when to start thinking about your return and what constitutes flexible working.

Sarah Jackson, Chief Executive of Working Families, says: "Returning to work when you have a new baby can be very difficult for the new mother and her manager. But the good news is that problems can be avoided by good communications and good planning together. These new guides take mother and manager step by step from early pregnancy, through maternity leave and a successful return to work."





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