The recent “Back with a Bump” poll commissioned by the National Childbirth Trust has found that over a third of women questioned said they found returning to work difficult or very difficult after the birth of their child. A third also said that the relationship with their boss had worsened since they became pregnant.
However there are ways to overcome any difficulties as HR specialist Judith Fiddler of Direct Law and Personnel found when two of her employees announced they were expecting.
As soon as Laura MacDonald and Pippa Schofield announced their pregnancy, Judith consulted with them on how to create a flexible work plan that suited their change of circumstances and also worked for the company.
Judith comments “it doesn’t surprise me that such a high proportion of women find the prospect of returning to work daunting. However we’ve found that flexibility and effective communication ease the problem and produce the best results.”
“As an employer, offering flexible working arrangements means we retain the skills and knowledge of our team and I feel it also builds loyalty to DLP. It certainly needs some effort but the end result is a stronger business and a highly motivated workforce.”
Sarah Jackson, Chief Executive of Working Families, commenting on the report agrees, “As soon as you find out you are pregnant, talk to your boss and make sure it is all planned and prepared for. Communication really is essential.”
DLP are happy to offer advice to any employers on how to successfully implement flexible working agreements within their own teams.