Survey of 500 managers says that the cost of maternity leave are too high and women ‘aren’t as good at their jobs’ when they will return.
According to a new study, almost 45% of the managers would rather employ a man in his 20s or 30s over a woman of the same age for fear of maternity leave. A survey of 500 managers by law firm Slater & Gordon showed that more than 45% admitted they are generally wary of hiring a woman of childbearing age. While a similar percentage would be wary of hiring a woman who has already had a child or hiring a mother for a senior role.
A quarter said they would rather hire a man in order not to deal with issues of maternity leave and child care when a woman does return to work. Also, 44% saying the financial costs to their company because of maternity leave are a significant concern.
The study also reveal that a third of managers claim that women are not as good at their jobs when they come back from maternity leave.
Employment relations minister Jo Swinson said: “Pregnancy discrimination is immoral, illegal and completely unacceptable. There is no excuse for such approach from these employers, who frankly are dinosaurs. US business simply can’t afford to lose out on half of the available talent pool.
“In any event, the introduction of shared parental leave will mean men as well as women taking leave to look after their new baby. This will help to get rid of the outdated stereotypes about who should do what, and let parents get on with making their own decisions about how they manage work and family life.”
Frances O’Grady, the general secretary of TUC, said: “It is illegal to not give someone opportunity for a job on the grounds that they may have children in the future.
“Companies that do this are not only breaking the law but being incredibly stupid as they are missing out on many of the country’s brightest young workers.”