Should Women Without Children Also Get Maternity Leave?

According to Henry Wallop of The Telegraph, 74% of women in Britain feel they should have the right to take the same six-month break that new mothers are given, and "more than two-thirds of those in favour were mothers themselves."

My first reaction was, admittedly, confusion, and also a sense that perhaps maternity leave was being played up as a vacation of sorts, as opposed to a time of adjusting to having a new child in the home and recovering from pregnancy and giving birth. However, Sam Baker of Red Magazine tells Wallop: "This isn't a working mum versus working non-mums argument. Nobody thinks maternity leave is a holiday. Employers, especially now, need to incentivise their staff in imaginative ways and that could involve offering leave. Some companies are already doing this."

Wallop sites one company, BT, that "offered its staff the right to take a year off, in return for taking a 75 per cent pay cut," a move that allows a "maternity leave" of sorts, for an extremely reduced salary, in order to cut costs for the company, allow workers to opt for time off and still maintain a job to return to—hopefully in a better economic climate. However, there is nothing in Wallop's piece about the benefits given to these employees, and I"m still not sure how, exactly, this matches up with a traditional maternity leave.

What do you think, commenters? Should a leave of absence be made available to all women, or does this make maternity leave seem like a vacation instead of a time of stress and physical recuperation? [Women Without Children Should Be Allowed Maternity Leave, Survey Says [Telegraph]

[Image via CPSU]