|But on with the Press Release:|
With the new school year about to start there could be fewer mums at the school gates, as new research by uSwitch.com reveals that debt and financial pressures are forcing new mothers back to work early. Almost six in ten of all mums returning to work (58%) do so because of debt and financial concerns – but in an ideal world 75% would be a stay-at-home mum:
– Three quarters of new mothers (75%) would be a stay-at-home mum if money was no object
– Almost six in ten (58%) of those who return to work are driven back because of debt and financial concerns – just 14% want to continue their career
– A quarter of mums who return to work (24%) take a pay cut by going back part-time
– Almost a fifth of mums (18%) say their earning capacity or career progression is hindered when they return to work after having a baby – almost one in five (18%) say both are affected.
Debt and financial concerns are forcing new mothers to return to work and could result in modern day mums losing the choice over whether to work or stay at home, according to a new study by uSwitch.com, the independent price comparison and switching service. Three quarters of new mothers (75%) would be a stay-at-home mum if money was no object, but instead almost six in ten (58%) are forced back to work because of debt and financial worries.
And such is the financial impact of going on maternity leave that more than one in ten mums (11%) are forced to cut their maternity leave short and return to work early. 9% are forced to re-think their plans about not going back at all. However, with more than four in ten (41%) going back to work part-time, and a quarter (24%) taking a pay cut because of part-time hours, new mums are still feeling the pinch.
And with the costs of a new baby continuing long after maternity pay runs out, it’s hardly surprising that mums are being forced back to work as on top of the average £1,526 spent before leaving work and £1,423 during maternity leave, new mums also spend an average of almost £2,500 in the first year after their maternity leave. More than one in ten (11%) spend over £5,000.
Money worries are such an overwhelming driver for those heading back to the office that just 14% of mums do so because they want to continue their career. However almost one in ten (9%) feel their career progression suffered as a result of taking maternity leave. And at a time when finances are already pushed to breaking point, almost one in ten (9%) say that their earning capacity has been hindered by having a baby. Worryingly a further fifth (18%) say both their earning capacity and career progression has been dealt a blow.
Ann Robinson, Director of Consumer Policy at uSwitch.com says: “At a time when women face the biggest squeeze on employment, new mums are being forced to return to the workplace because of financial pressures. The high cost of living coupled with the often crippling cost of a mortgage means that many households today need two incomes to get by. Unfortunately many new mothers are paying the price for this by seeing their choices taken away by the financial realities of modern life.
“It’s heartbreaking that so many mums are being forced into debt or having to cut short their maternity leave just to make ends meet. And to make matters worse, many of those who go back to work are facing an uphill battle to get their earnings potential and career back on track.
“Sadly, very few mums have the luxury of being able to stay at home for the whole of their maternity leave and even fewer have the choice to be a stay at home mum. Preparation is key for those planning a family. Check out your company’s maternity policy, calculate how much you will need to survive, save money in readiness and cut down on household bills and unnecessary expenses. By keeping a tight lid on your household budget hopefully you will remember your maternity leave for the right reasons and not for the financial headache and debt it can bring.”