Thousands of working mothers are cutting short their maternity leave over fears that taking 'more time off than absolutely necessary' would jeopardise their job, according to a recent study.

The survey of 2,000 women concluded that a worryingly low percentage of only 12% take the full year afforded to them by the law, due to pressures from management and the threat of job role changes, business reorganisation or redundancy.

This is something which I too unfortunately encounter in practice with many a client who seek advice on employment planning. Suffice to say, it is unlawful to treat employees less favourably than others because they are pregnant or on maternity leave, but it is still an evident issue that needs tackling within organisations.