Returning to Work for Mums
Having a baby or starting a family can make all sorts of changes to a family’s life.
However, for mothers, returning to work after maternity leave is far, far more common
than it was a couple of decades ago.
Apart from needing the financial support a job provides, many women find that they
need the social interaction of adults on a daily basis. There is of course the matter
of career progression and many women return to work after maternity leave to continue
with their chosen career.
Of course, a selection of women still opt to tak a career break or not to return
to a job outside the home until their brood is reared.
Know your rights
Under the Maternity Protection Act, on their return to work after maternity leave,
women are supposed to be treated as if they had been in work over those 26 or 42
Both parents are also entitled to 14 weeks unpaid parental leave for each child
up to 8 years old. If you have more than 1 child this is usually limited to 14 weeks
being taken over 12 months. Normally the 14 weeks is broken down into 1 or 2 blocks
of time, but some employers allow staff to break it down into days or even hours.
Flexible working options are very dependent on your career area but over the last
decade employers have become less rigid.
Flexible working is worth enquiring about, as especially in a difficult economic
environment it might just suit your employer to offer flexible options that result
in a lower payroll.
Common flexible working options include: starting late or finishing early in order
to do the school run, working 3 or 4 rather than 5 days a week, job sharing and
‘term time’ – extended leave from work to coincide with school holidays.
If your current employer is not flexible it could be worthwhile looking for another
job that has more flexibility or a company that has family-friendly policies.
Click here to find out about being aware of your transferable skills and brushing
up on skills to help you find a new role. Read more about finding new ways of working