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Maternity leave `pushes nearly 33 pc new mums into debt`

London, Thu, 19 Apr 2012 ANI

London, Apr 19 (ANI): Taking maternity leave can put new mothers in debt or force them to cut short their time off owing to financial issues, a new study has suggested.

According to the survey of 1,000 new mothers, nearly a third of new mothers go into debt due to taking maternity leave, while one in 10 cut their time off short to ease financial pressures.

Some 28 percent of those surveyed had gone into the red due to their time out of work, typically accruing almost 2,500 pounds in debts, while just a quarter felt financially prepared for motherhood.

Meanwhile, 11 percent of mothers said they had ended their maternity leave early to boost ailing finances, while 9 percent said they had been forced to reconsider plans not to return to work.

According to the research from, those mothers surveyed said their net monthly household income had dropped from 2,866 pounds on average to 1,654 pounds typically while they had been on maternity leave.

This had forced some to borrow cash from relatives or rely on credit cards, loans and overdrafts to help tide them over.

"This is exactly why we have proposed changes to the current outdated maternity leave arrangements, replacing it with a new flexible parental leave model to better meet the needs of modern families and modern workplaces," Sky News quoted a Government spokesman as saying.

"Under the new system families can chose how to divide their leave with fathers being able take on more paid leave as a result. In particular this will benefit families where the mother is the main income earner in a household.

"In addition to this, we're taking millions out of tax altogether by raising the personal allowance, which is putting up to 126 pounds cash back in people's pockets this year," the spokesman added. (ANI)

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