Sasha glad to have job after birth

By NATALIE PEUTnataliep@gladstoneobserver.com.au

AS the debate over paid maternity leave escalates, Gladstone mum-in-waiting Sasha Emslie is just happy to have a job to return to after the birth of her first child.

Now in the first week of her 10-week planned maternity leave, Ms Emslie, who is a sales clerk, said she did not believe it was necessary for women to receive paid maternity leave.

She said maternity leave was originally intended to provide women with time off for the birth of a child, with the option of being able to return to your previous job.

With just four weeks until her due date, Ms Emslie said she was taking the opportunity to prepare for the birth of her much-anticipated first-born.

'Before the baby is born there is so much to do, from washing the child's clothes to buying all the last-minute essentials which may be needed when the baby is born,'she said.

'This time has also enabled me to pack my bag and prepare for hospital, along with a chance to put my feet up for a few weeks.'

In Australia, paid maternity leave is not compulsory, however some employers do offer it.

Recent research has shown that only 39 per cent of female employees have access to some form of paid maternity leave.

During a recent survey, more than one-third of the people surveyed took unpaid maternity leave, with many quitting their jobs to care for their young ones.

A recent Australian Bureau of Statistics survey found that 65 per cent of managers and administrators and 54 per cent of professionals were paid maternity leave.

This is compared to just 18 per cent of clerical, sales and service workers and 21 per cent of labourers.



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