I hardly think maternity leave is a vacation, and once a mother goes back to work, she has twice the load to carry, but at least it’s an opportunity to get away from work for a while and concentrate on life. I’m considering this break from work my maternity leave:
Well, if it makes you feel better I never got maternity leave either, and freelancers (which make up an awful lot of women working now) don’t get maternity leave either obviously. Nor do they qualify for “loss of income” that you get with maternity leave. I think maternity leave and paternity leave is important, but I do think some women take the cake – in Canada you can take maternity leave up to a year (?!) and then go back to your job..which in some cases, ok, esp if you plan to stay…but in a lot of cases women go back to work, decide to quit (as it’s too hard with kids, or they want to be with the kids, etc) and the business is out the year income- essentially – as they held the job for them. In certain jobs this is not going to be a blow to the company but for small businesses it’s terrible I think.
I do think this idea that you can get pregnant (which Does impact a woman’s ability to work in the same way as someone not pregnant assuming all other things are equal) and then have your job held for up to a year is not on for small business – unless this is the choice of the business. But equally, I think there should be better options for on-site creches for women that have to work, as well as better options all round for work/life balance for everyone.