Exploding the myth of the “problem with working women and babies”

Two mothers from the same company welcoming two new babies into the world at the same time is usually seen as some kind of “nightmare scenario” for a small business. All that “EU legislation” regarding maternity rights is often blamed for making “women of a child bearing age effectively unemployable”.

However when Laura MacDonald and Pippa Schofield, two of the twenty strong team at HR services firm Direct Law and Personnel announced their pregnancy, MD Judith Fiddler was delighted for them. Laura gave birth to Coby on 8th July and Pippa welcomed Lexi on the 9th September.

Judith should know better than most about personnel rights and procedures, given that HR is her area of expertise, but despite this she has seen no disruption at all to her business.

Judith comments “we hear a lot about small businesses being unwilling to employ women who may be planning to have a family because of the negative impact their absence can have on their business. In reality, many new parents have very different wishes for how they want to arrange their work and private life at a time like this. If the employer works flexibly with them and uses the technology that is available, then there is no need for any significant difficulties to arise that may impact the business.”

“In our case both Pippa and Laura chose a flexible work pattern that suited them and everything has continued to run extremely well. Pippa chose to carry on working and was actually working the day before she gave birth. She then opted to do much of her accounting work from home. Laura took maternity leave from June 19th but has been in almost every week since mid July. She will be full time again by the end of the year.”

DLP are happy to offer advice to any employers on how to successfully implement flexible working agreements with their teams.


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