Almost 10 per cent of employers ‘have reservations’ about employing women aged between 30 – 40, fearful that they might fall pregnant at some point, hrmagazine.co.uk reports.
This and other similarly shocking revelations have been discovered by the Chartered Institute of Public Relations and Hanson Search, who carried out a survey of 550 communications professionals. They found that the spectre of maternity leave affected recruitment decisions of 9.4 per cent of employers while two-thirds of employees thought they would be discriminated against if they were to become pregnant.
Half of those polled claimed they had witnessed problems among peers that had returned from maternity leave. These issues included difficulties in arranging flexible working and a ‘perceived reduction in status’.
Such unfairness is not being simply accepted, however. 48.5 per cent of female respondents said they would think about moving to another company if such inequalities were not resolved within the next two years.
80 per cent believed that a fair and efficient flexible working policy would provide a mutually agreeable solution to maternity returners and employers. Additionally, according to cipr.co.uk, imbalances could be settled by empowering pregnant women to more confidently approach their manager through the creation of ‘the right company culture’.
“Both employees and employers must be able to have honest and open conversations about how the requirements of the business can be balanced against the needs of the employee,” commented Alice Weightman, managing director at Hanson Search.
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