Some 44% of mums said they did not understand how the maternity leave tax introduced in 2013 worked, while 22% said they were not aware the tax had changed, a new survey has found.
The online opinion poll of more than 1,000 parents on maternity, paternity and parental leave, which was carried out by RecruitIreland.com, also found that benefits continue to be topped up by employers despite the ongoing recession.
More than half of working mums who had a baby in the past four years had their maternity benefit topped up either fully or partially. By contrast, six in 10 mums who had a baby before 2010 received state benefit only.
The majority of parents said they would like to see a tax credit for childcare introduced in the next Budget, with crèches being the most popular source of childcare.
The biggest concern of mums going back to work is childcare. Even with dad helping out, the worry was not alleviated - half of the mums polled who said their partner would be caring for their child also ticked the option "worried about childcare" when going back to work.
When asked how they felt about working, 50% of mums said they enjoyed working and still wanted to advance and develop their careers. However, four in 10 would give up work given half a chance and one in 10 wanted to start her own business.
When looking at dads’ work perks, 40% of organisations give their employees leave. Most received one to three days. Most dads also said their companies were very flexible about taking parental leave and more than three in every 10 dads have availed of this option.
Commercial manager for RecruitIreland.com Sinead Johnson said: "We are impressed with the dedication mums showed to work considering it’s very difficult for most to leave their little ones.
"Although 2% of mums couldn’t wait to get back to work, the majority were apprehensive about it. The term ‘devastated’ was used to describe the transition by one in four mums who took the survey.
"As a working mum, I know myself what a wrench it can be but it’s great to see ambition and entrepreneurial spirit alive in mums in Ireland."