§ Mr. Djanogly
To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry what percentage of women who left full-time employment on maternity leave returned(a) by the end of and (b) after the end of the statutory maternity leave period to (i) full-time employment and (ii) part-time employment, in each of the last five years. 
§ Alan Johnson
[holding answer 18 January 2002]The latest information available is from a 1996 study entitled "Maternity Rights and Benefits in Britain 1996", Department of Social Security Research Report No. 67, published by the Stationery Office.
The study included a survey of mothers who had given birth in June 1995 and collected information on their economic activity in spring 1996, some 10 to 11 months after giving birth, and thus after the point at which any statutory entitlement to maternity leave had expired.
At this point, 34 per cent. of women employed full-time before taking maternity leave had returned to employment on a full-time basis and 35 per cent. had returned to employment on a part-time basis.
It is not possible to identify the proportions returning to employment before and after their entitlements to statutory maternity leave had expired.
The Department and the Department for Work and Pensions have commissioned a repeat survey in order to evaluate the impact of the changes to maternity leave arrangements introduced in 1999 and to provide a baseline for evaluation of the changes to maternity arrangements announced in the 2001 Budget and contained in the Employment Bill.