Nearly two-thirds (64%) of employers do not expect female employees to return to work after their maternity leave, according to research by Reabur.
The survey of almost 2,000 organisations by the online independent HR consultancy also found that almost half (47%) believe this is because of previous experience.
Furthermore, 23% of respondents stated they would not want the employee to return after maternity leave because they would lack enthusiasm, when compared to a newly hired member of staff.
Nearly half (41%) of respondents have a return-to-work policy in place for mothers returning from maternity leave.
More than three-quarters (76%) offer a policy that includes more flexible working options, such as part-time working.
Kirsty Burgess, co-managing director of Reabur, said: “It is interesting to see that even though an employee may say she wants to return to work after having a baby, employers do not necessarily believe her.
“Having a child need not change women’s career choices at all, and employers should not necessarily expect a member of staff not to return.
“Although many women do indeed decide to take further time off, this is in no way the norm. With the rising cost of childcare it has become more essential for women to return to work.”
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