London mums take the least maternity leave in the UK

Released on: 12 June 2014

Women in London are taking the least maternity leave in the UK, according to new research by NCT.

Women in London are taking the least maternity leave, according to new research by NCT. Compared to the rest of the UK, London mums are most likely to return to work sooner than they would ideally like, with over half (59%) reporting that this would be the case.

Of those, 42% said this was because of concerns over job security, and 18% reporting that they didn’t think their employer would be flexible enough.

The report also showed that mothers in London represent the lowest proportion of women to take more than 39 weeks maternity leave – and were most likely to take less than two weeks (7% of 4% overall in the UK).

However, of those that would not consider sharing parental leave with their partner, women in London felt most strongly that their it would be their role as a mother to stay at home and look after their children, with 63% of London women (of 36% overall) reporting this.

Belinda Phipps NCT, CEO said:
“Spending time at home with their new babies is important to a lot of women in London. Yet worryingly, fears over job security mean they go back before they feel ready. We would like to see employers offering more support for new mums so they can spend the time they need and want with their children.”

Other key UK findings:
• 29% of women said they would be worried about job security if they took advantage of flexible working. Just 15% said they thought their job would be ‘very secure’.
• 70% of women surveyed said they would prefer flexible working over more parental leave as a way to spend more time with their children, if they were to have a/another child.
• However 59% said they were unaware that were able to request flexible working from their employers.
• Women between 18 and 24 are more than twice as likely (7%) to take less than two weeks’ maternity leave than those aged 25 and over (3%). [i]