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Full maternity leave uptake doubles

6 June 2011

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The number of women taking up all their maternity leave has doubled over the past few years, with many cancelling holidays, house-buying and even wedding plans to fund more time with their new-born child, according to new research.

A study of 4,000 mothers and pregnant women found that two-thirds of new mums take or plan to take their full maternity break, compared with one-third in 2006.

The average amount of maternity leave taken today is just over nine months – three-and-a-half months more than five years ago.

Almost half of those questioned by savings bank ING Direct had decided not to go on holiday, a fifth had put house-buying plans on hold and one in eight had delayed getting married.

A third of those surveyed said they did not enjoy work enough to return early while a similar number were unwilling to sacrifice time with their new child.

ING Direct Chief Executive, Richard Doe, said: “It is clear parents are prioritising taking quality time with their kids and are prepared to make sacrifices to cover the cost of this.”

Mothers in the north-east and Wales were most likely to take up their full maternity leave, according to the study.

Copyright © Press Association 2011