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A new study for Working Families and Netmums has found overwhelming opposition to plans to reduce maternity leave to 18 weeks. Working Families employer members have also voiced concerns about reducing maternity leave to 18 weeks and warn of hidden costs to business.
The Government, in its Modern Workplaces consultation, proposed that maternity leave be reduced to 18 weeks and the remaining leave currently available to women becomes “flexible parental leave” available to either parent. It is likely that the proposals will be included in the Children and Families Bill in the next Parliamentary session.
The Netmums survey of 1,500 mothers found:
Working Families Chief Executive, Sarah Jackson said:
”This isn’t just about what women want: some of our top employers are warning of hidden costs to business if women come back too soon. We urge the Government to think again: 18 weeks of maternity leave is simply too short for women’s wellbeing and for business success.”