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Employee Benefits News

Latest News
24 Nov 2014

78% Of UK Women Uncomfortable Discussing Maternity Rights

The majority of female workers in the UK feel apprehensive about discussing their maternity rights and benefits with employers, out of fear it implies that they are planning to become pregnant, an article on HR Magazine reports.

A recent report conducted by the careers website and community Glassdoor questioned 1,000 women – of which 500 had already taken maternity leave, and 500 planned to do so at some point during their career.

The survey found that 78% of female employees feel that asking about maternity leave or pay during a job interview could seriously impact their chances of getting the position.

Furthermore, almost half (42%) of those questioned would only ask about maternity benefits at the same time as announcing their pregnancy; a similar number (41%) feel ‘generally uncomfortable´ about discussing maternity benefits.

The report also revealed that maternity benefits are often kept “under lock and key” by employers –an approach that Glassdoor´s Jon Ingham calls “short-sighted”.

In fact, less than one third (32%) of female employees said they were given information about maternity benefits when they started with their employer. What´s more, 39% stated that the information was difficult to find, whilst 13% reported that there is no publicly available information about maternity benefits at their workplace.

Whilst Ingham believes that employers may not intentionally decide to hold back this information, he does argue that “forcing them to ask for it is clearly causing a great deal of distress for many women”.

He added that “a more honest and open attitude towards maternity benefits could improve the quality of candidates looking to work at your organisation,” and that “transparency around benefits in the workplace can actually build greater trust.”

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