Female executives forego extended parental leave

Job commitment reason for early return.

Canadian female executives don’t intend to take advantage of extended employment insurance benefits and parental leave provisions. They want to get back to work.

As of the end of 2000, 50 weeks of employment insurance benefits are available to new mothers. Canadian jurisdictions have also passed amendments to employment standards laws permitting combined maternity/parental leave of at least a year.

However, the recent third annual POLLARA Survey for the Women’s Executive Network reveals that, despite these increases, most executive women would only take 39.7 weeks off work to have a baby.

The survey also indicates that the reason for their speedy return to work is not financial need. Only nine per cent of women surveyed said that they would go back to work early for monetary reasons. The largest group of women – 18 per cent – stated they’d forego parental benefits and leave because they were needed at work. Other reasons were a concern about being out of touch for too long (13 per cent) and because the women liked their jobs (9 per cent).

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