ONE in six mothers are returning to work before their babies are even three months old, new research shows.
The figures come as a landmark government report today is expected to recommend women get at least 14 weeks paid maternity leave.
A national survey of Australian families conducted for the government has found eight per cent of the nations mothers are back at work before their babies are aged one month old.
A further eight per cent of mothers return to work within two or three months of the birth of their youngest child, the Household Income and Labour Dynamics survey of 13,000 Australians found.
Forty per cent of Australian mothers are now back at work before their baby tuns one year old, up from 32 per cent in 1996.
The report concludes that many women are being forced back to work because they aren’t eligible for paid maternity leave and are under financial pressure.
In some cases it is because more fathers are taking time off work to share the child rearing responsibilities.
Just 43 per cent of women are entitled to paid maternity leave and only 34 per cent of dads are eligible for paid paternity leave.
The nations efficiency watchdog the Productivity Commission will today release its draft options paper on a new paid maternity leave scheme that aims to solve this problem.