UK managers fear rising cost of maternity and paternity leave more than credit crunch

A poll of 513 UK managers showed that while 39% think the loans crisis will damage their companies in 2008, 42% fear the effect of greater maternity and paternity leave.

Maternity leave was extended to 52 weeks, with statutory pay for 39 weeks, for babies born on or after 1 April 2007. Fathers were allowed two weeks’ paid paternity leave.

Overall, the Chartered Management Institute found that managers believe 2008 will be tougher than 2007. Only 40% are confident about the year ahead, compared with 50% a year ago.

The rising cost of energy is the most-blamed factor, while half of all managers think their firms will be held back by a lack of management skills. However, only one in three plans to undertake training in the New Year.

Jo Causon, director of marketing and corporate affairs for the Chartered Management Institute, says: “In the current climate, it is natural for employers to feel some degree of uncertainty.

“However, the decline in organisations developing their managers is a great concern. If employers fail to invest in the skills needed for long-term success, the UK will find it difficult to compete on a global scale in the future.”

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