A recent poll among women has revealed the sad plight of women on maternity leave.
Women said they faced discrimination at work when they were pregnant and are often replaced in their jobs during maternity leave. To many of them, maternity leave could well mean stress, loss of job or even a demotion.
One out of seven women who took the survey said that they had lost their job while they were on maternity leave and nearly 40% admitted that their jobs completely changed by the time they returned.
The stress of these changes at the workplace did affect their relationship. The Equal Opportunities Commission also found that nearly 30,000 women lost their jobs each year due to maternity leave.
Rosalind Bragg, director of Maternity Action said, "We know there's a huge amount of pregnancy discrimination among low earners, who would not be able to go into a legal office for help. Demand for our helpline has doubled year on year for the past three years and our information sheets were downloaded 397,000 times."
Bragg said: "We believe only a very small percentage of women take any action against an employer who has broken the law. They may simply not know their rights, but often there will have been a period of bullying and harassment before the woman is finally sacked or leaves, so she's in no position to invest energy and emotion, let alone money, in pursuing an action that may well not produce results."