Return to Work following Childbirth

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2005 National Women's Conference
12 February 2005

A law is already in place to ensure that women have the right to return to work after maternity leave.

All too often, women are returning to work to find their job role has changed, their responsibilities and even their workplace.

Although against current regulations, opportunities to return to their previous work are often denied these women for operational reasons, job share is not explored as an option and women are expected to resolve the situation by planning child care around what is on offer. There is strong evidence to prove that even women who receive full support from an employer during their pregnancy are suddenly treated differently as soon as they explain that they wish to return to work on a part-time basis following their maternity leave.

Conference calls on the National Women’s Committee to:

1)gather information from branches on the problems encountered by women returning to work after childbirth;

2)produce and distribute new publicity material and guidance on the rights of women returning to work after childbirth;

3)develop guidelines for representatives to negotiate for the rights of new mothers returning to work;

4)ensure these guidelines mean that no woman is bullied into accepting roles or responsibilities that do not recognise the skills and experience, and make their working conditions less favourable than before they took maternity leave;

5)launch a campaign to highlight this discrimination against women in the workplace.