Mothers accumulate debt on maternity leave

| April 20, 2012
Mothers accumulate debt on maternity leave

Three quarters of mums are unprepared for a fall in income while they are on maternity leave and nearly a third go into debt.

A study by price comparison site uSwitch.com suggests that the average debt accumulated by mothers while they are on maternity leave is nearly £2,500.

As well as facing a 50 per cent drop in income, new babies are expensive and on average mums spend £1,400 on baby products during their maternity leave, on top of around £1,500 while they are still at work.

According to uSwitch.com 43 per cent of new mums fail to put any money away to tide them over while they are away from work, even though 25 per cent of couples delay starting a family because of the costs involved.

Financial stresses cause 10 per cent of new mums to return to work before they have to, while 10 per cent borrow from family and seven per cent use overdrafts, credit cards and loans in order to make ends meet.

Ann Robinson, spokesperson for uSwitch.com, said: “It’s clear that more needs to be done by the government to help families cope with the financial burden of parenthood.”

Household incomes have come under increasing pressure from the rising cost of living but even when they return to work, mums could find themselves earning less income than before, especially if they want to work part time.

Women Like Us, an organisation that promotes flexible working, carried out a study to assess the part time jobs available and gather information on salary levels and the type of jobs offered.

It found that only 1 in every 19 adverts for jobs paying at least £20,000 FTE are for part time work.

The lack of high-quality part-time role mean that women are often forced to trade down on their skills and experience.

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