4913.0 - Pregnancy and Employment Transitions, Australia, Nov 2011 Quality Declaration 
ARCHIVED ISSUE Released at 11:30 AM (CANBERRA TIME) 16/11/2012   
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16 November 2012
Embargo: 11:30 am (Canberra Time)
Grandparents step in when mums go back to work

An Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) report released today shows 27 per cent of women who started or returned to work after the birth of their child, relied on grandparents as the main care for their child.

ABS Director of Labour Force and Supplementary Surveys, Cassandra Gligora said the Pregnancy and Employment Transitions survey collected information on employment experiences of women with children under the age of 2 years, including some aspects of women's working experiences while pregnant and after returning to work. She also noted that the survey collected information on the type of leave used by women and their partner following the birth of the child.

"The survey results show that 86 per cent of women who returned to work after the birth of their child used at least one flexible work arrangement to assist with the care of their child," said Ms Gligora.

"Most women (76 per cent) returned to part-time work. Over one-third of these mothers returned to work when their child was seven to twelve months old.

"Over 25 per cent of the women surveyed stated that the main reason they returned to work after the birth of their child was to keep their job or that they were returning at their employer's request. This was followed by financial reasons, maintaining self-esteem and maintaining their career skills.

"The survey results also showed that around 22 per cent of the 357,500 women who worked while pregnant, permanently left their job before the birth of their child," said Ms Gligora.

Further details can be found in Pregnancy and Employment Transitions, Australia 2011 (cat. no. 4913.0), available for free download from www.abs.gov.au.

Media notes:
  • 'Returned to work' includes women who started work after the birth of their child.
  • Partner refers to a woman's current partner who was the same partner during the woman's pregnancy.
  • When reporting on these statistics, attribute the Australian Bureau of Statistics (or ABS) as the source.