According to new research by My Family Care for The Work & Family Show, more than half of parents believe that their jobs are under threat when they go on maternity leave and 42 per cent of expectant mothers are afraid to tell their boss about their pregnancy, worried it will affect their future prospects.
The survey of 1,000 parents across the UK also found that just one in four believed they could “have it all” and balance work and family life, despite 42 per cent of respondents saying their employers is flexible to their needs.
Ben Black, Director of My Family Care said: “This research shows that we still have a long way to go in educating both employers and employees on the importance of work/life balance.
“There is still a stigma surrounding maternity and paternity leave that needs to be shattered and it’s only through education, debate and new laws – including Shared Parental Leave coming into force in April – that this can be done.”
Mr Black joined Wake Up London to discuss the findings and gave his advice on how businesses can become more family friendly.
Nicola Huelin, Founder of CEO Mums said: “Whilst things may be improving and will vary from one industry and company to another, the reality is there are so many women out there who were made redundant or felt they were unfairly dismissed during their maternity leave or soon after their return.
"This has forced many women to start up their own businesses with great success but it’s terrible that this is still the norm and things will need to change as fathers take a much more active role in the upbringing of their children and companies see the value of looking after your staff.”