New mothers in London take less maternity leave than parents in any other part of the UK, a shocking new study reveals.
They are twice as likely to take less than two weeks’ off work, which is meant to be the legal minimum, because they are worried that they would lose their job.
Almost one in six also return before they feel ready, according to the research by parent charity, NCT.The findings suggests that millions of women in the capital are missing out on months of invaluable time with their babies because of anxieties about work and cost of living pressures.
Some 59 per cent of London women said they would return to work faster than they wanted to, pollsters Survation found. That compared with 43 per cent nationwide.
Over four in 10 said this was because they were worried about their job security. Another 18 per cent said they did not think their employer would be flexible enough and 20 per cent said maternity ay was too low to get by on.
Although women are meant to take at least a fortnight maternity leave, almost seven per cent of Londoners said they went back earlier. That compared with 3.8 per cent of women UK-wide.
Some 37 per cent took more than 39 weeks, compared with 45 per cent nationwide.
Almost 30 per cent of London women were not worried about their jobs but were simply keen “to get back to work as fast as possible”. This was twice the national average.