Poll reports maternity leave misery

Mar 14 2008 by Derek Torres Print This Article

A recent study from Monster.co.uk has found that a rather alarming number of women across Europe don't feel that they're getting what they both need and deserve from the employer when returning from maternity leave.

In fact, British women rated quite high in the survey as feeling unsupported, with 56% of responded feeling that their employer either does not encourage their return or would prefer someone without family commitments.

More surprising are the results in countries like Finland and Netherlands, which are often viewed as more tolerant, where the results are 85% and 74% respectively.

To be fair, these results are based on respondent's percepts and not necessarily on a factual basis. Still, perception equals reality in today's world and it's hard to argue with the belief that these ladies probably are not as productive as they could be out of anxiety over their new role and place within the company.

What this proves is that legislation is only one aspect of implementing a healthy family and work balance; attitudes also need to change in order for it to truly be effective.

Fortunately, the results in countries like France and Germany (49% and 43% respectively) show that these changes are occurring in some places.