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Pregnant workers plan to cut short maternity leave because of finances

Nearly half of working mums-to-be are planning to cut short their maternity leave because of money worries, research has revealed.

The survey of 315 pregnant workers carried out my MoneySupermarket found that a third of them were thinking of returning to work between six and eight months after the birth of their baby, rather than take the whole year they are entitled to. One in ten said that the combination of high living costs and stagnant wages will force them back to work after three to six months.

The financial squeeze is also taking its toll on relationships. Of those parents who said they were worried about how they would afford the cost of a child, 44 per cent said the stress had caused them to row with their partner.

Going on maternity leave usually means a fall in income for working parents. But going back to work has its costs too. Childcare in the UK is among the costliest in Europe, particularly for young children who don't yet qualify for Early Years Entitlement (15 free hours a week for children aged three or four).

Many parents and carers find flexible working arrangements invaluable, enabling them to work around their childcare commitments and find a better balance between their careers and home life.

Acas can help employers establish flexible working arrangements and provide information to employees on The right to request flexible working. Acas recognises the importance of maintaining a healthy Work/life balance and offers training courses on issues around Flexible working to give a comprehensive overview of everything you need to know about family-related policies.

Visit the Acas Training and Business Solutions area for more information.

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