Handbags at dawn for maternity leave discussions?

Luxury handbag designer Anya Hindmarch speaks out


According to current law, an employer is allowed to ask an employee about her maternity leave plans, but the employee isn’t obliged to answer: a sort of ‘mum’s the word’ arrangement. And luxury handbag designer Anya Hindmarch isn’t happy about it.


The working mum of five says: “There is a brown envelope flashing above every woman’s head in terms of tribunal threat. I think [regulations] could end up working against women, unfortunately.”

“As a woman, a mother-of-five and an employer of a lot of women with children, it would end up making you make a choice between employing a man or a woman. You probably might pick the easier route because the regulation and consequential cost and eggshell treading would just be too onerous.”

The designer, whose totes retail at over a thousand pounds, told Vogue magazine: “I cannot say strongly enough that any more regulation will cripple this country. We are so over-regulated.”

“I find myself treading on eggshells and becoming hugely legal. It just feels really wrong,” she added of conversations with her staff about their maternity leave. 

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