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According to a new survey, companies are increasingly refusing to employ women with children, even in the knowledge that they are breaking the law.
The poll, by business services firm Regus, found that 38 per cent of bosses are concerned that mothers won't work as hard as those without children and worry they won't be flexible about working hours.
A further 31 per cent were against employing a working mum for fear that she would become pregnant again, leaving the company with a missing worker and a maternity leave bill.
So it would seem that employers really are shying away from employing women of a certain age, as "family friendly" laws such as flexible working and maternity leave put an extra burden on already cash-strapped companies.
The study of 10,000 employers revealed that only 26 per cent of bosses were planning on hiring working mothers this year, compared to 38 per cent last year.
Bad news for many women with children under five who are forced to work either full or part time to boost finances.
Regus director Celia Donne told the Daily Mail: "It is not surprising to see prejudiced attitudes comes back into play with economic belt-tightening.
"Some businesses are evidently still guilty of applying old-fashioned misgivings."
What do you think? Are family-friendly laws putting too much pressure on employers? Leave your comments below...