Returning to work after having a baby seems to be a hot topic at the moment. First of all, it was disclosed that there are EU plans which set to ban women from returning to work within six weeks of giving birth and give them full pay for longer. Then, giving
a somewhat contradictory message, the now ex-French Justice Minister Rachida Dati returned to work just five days after giving birth to her daughter. And there are a few varying opinions on the matter. Dati’s actions were called “rushed and reckless” and a
“disservice to women” in France, with many arguing that she was setting a bad example to women by not taking the standard three months of maternity leave. In the UK, responses to the EU plans included the warning that it could damage careers of women who wanted
to return to work sooner and that employers will stop employing women if the cost of maternity increases.
Who is right? It’s a tough question. Of course all women should be free to decide for themselves but maybe the key issue is giving women the support they need so that they don’t feel that their job will be in jeopardy if they don’t follow in Dati’s footsteps?
But as this doesn’t exist everywhere, maybe a ban is necessary to relieve this pressure? However how then can we convince business that employing women isn’t a risky option? Answers on a postcard…or post them below…