The reality after maternity leave

after maternity leave

Your whole career could change after maternity leave

According to research about 11% of women in the U.K.  are pushed out of their jobs after maternity leave. That’s about 54,000 women a year , but only 1% of these lodge a complaint at an employment tribunal, according to the watchdog. The report suggests that the cost to British women who were forced out of their jobs, either by being dismissed, treated so poorly they had to leave, or made compulsorily redundant; could be as much as £113m a year. 

Read: One piece of advice for maternity leave

Sadly, many women who kept their jobs still faced a financial loss; costing up to £34m in total over the year after their return to work as a result of having pay reduced, missing out on promotions or receiving a lower pay rise or bonus.

Recently I was interviewed on LBC Radio’s breakfast show, presented by Nick Ferrari. Nick’s perspective was that small companies can’t accommodate women who want flexibility, as staff need to be physically present during working hours, but that large organisations have no excuse.

Read: 7 ways successful women manage their maternity leave

Will your job still be there after maternity leave?

It’s 15 years since I was personally on maternity leave, and I left my role at the time as my part time request was rejected. From my experience coaching women through their career, they have shared with me similar experiences much more recently:

I have also seen positive stories of forward thinking employers that offer flexible working for all employees, where women have received promotion while on maternity leave and offering senior positions as part-time.

Read: 10 tips returning from maternity leave

However, I do have concerns that there are not enough good experiences for women, and the rise in women opting out of corporate life and starting their own businesses is testament to that. Women are 50% of the population and more young women are taking degree qualifications than men. Organisations are really going to miss out on top talent if they don’t change their ways, as well as the diversity of perspective that keeps them competitive.

Originally posted on LinkedIn on October 30th 2016 

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Jenny Garrett

About Jenny Garrett

Jenny Garrett MA Awarded APCTC Women’s Coach of the Year 2014, author of Rocking Your Role, the how to guide to success for female breadwinners, speaker, and founder of Reflexion Associates leadership consultancy. Jenny mentors women entrepreneurs and executives internationally for the Cherie Blair Foundation and ASPIRE programme and was a finalist for the PRECIOUS Mentor of the Year 2012. She has been a guest on BBC Radio 4’s Woman’s Hour, featured in Magic FM’s Book Club and been quoted and written articles for numerous publications, most recently quoted on the front page of The Daily Telegraph on the rise of stay at home fathers being fuelled by the growth of female breadwinners. Jenny helps professional working women move to a state of contentment, happiness and abundance, ultimately rocking their many roles in life, using the process that she has developed from over 10 years experience of executive coaching and research outlined in her book Rocking Your Role.??She also works with corporates to maximise their staff performance through leadership development.