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Mothers back from maternity leave more valued by employers

The old-time perception that some employers consider maternity leave an unwelcome disruption and expense has been challenged by the findings of a recent survey.

Eight of ten companies think that their industry misses out by not employing women after maternity leave, and two in three said that returning mothers bring 'skills and experience' that are 'difficult to find' in the current labour market, according to the study from Regus.

It also found that two in five employers intended to take on more mothers in the next two years. Back in 2011, a similar poll found that only a quarter of employers were looking to recruit women with children.

Employers looked to attract mums back into the workplace by offering flexible working, options to work closer to home, part-time work and use of new technologies such as video conferencing.

Three out of five employers said that mothers wanted to work remotely when returning to work and just under half were prepared to settle for 'working closer to home'.

Acas publications and services

Acas experts can visit your workplace and help you develop and implement successful flexible working policies to suit your staff and business. For details, see Parents and carers: how Acas can help.

Practical training is also available on Flexible working, and Maternity, paternity and adoption, which will help you navigate legislation surrounding these areas.

For free, impartial advice on these and other employment relations matters, call the Acas Helpline on 0300 123 1100, or consult Helpline Online.

Visit the Acas Training Courses, Workshops and Projects area for more information.

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