New mothers in the UK are being forced to cut short their maternity leave over concerns about their finances.
Just 39% of new mums take advantage of their full maternity leave entitlement, with 51% saying that financial motives are a key reason for returning to work early, according to a survey by insurer ING Direct.
But 55% of mothers earning £30,000 or more cited love for their job as the reason for returning to work early.
Living costs during maternity leave are more than £6,500 over the full six months – based on estimates by mothers with children under five.
ING Direct chief executive Lindsay Sinclair, said: “It’s vital that people who are planning a family think about the financial consequences and save accordingly. Good financial planning should mean that new mums won’t have to cut their maternity leave short.”