Following the Spring Budget, the new basic rate maternity and parental pay will be just £156.66 per week from April. This equates to just 47% of the National Living Wage (for a 35-hour week at the adult rate of £9.50 per hour).
Maternity Action have pointed out that new mothers and their babies are bearing the brunt of this poverty crisis.
Their recent survey of women on maternity leave found that half of new mums (51%) relied on credit cards or loans to get by, while a similar proportion (52%) felt forced to return to work early because of money worries. 96% worried about money a lot or sometimes during maternity leave, and 56% said money worries impacted their health and wellbeing during pregnancy and maternity leave.
Read the full report on Maternity Action’s website.