A spokesperson for a HR firm has called for a shake-up in the way businesses treat parents who are retuning to work.

Sue Tumelty, managing director of The HR Dept, told the Birmingham Post that genuine equality in the workplace will never be achieved until the mother or father is permitted to take paid leave following the birth of their child.

The expert claimed there are still "very few women" in senior management positions as once they have decided to be a parent, it is "virtually impossible" for them to carry on with their chosen path.

She added: "In order to find part-time roles, mothers generally need to take jobs that require less responsibility, are less interesting and are less well paid."

Meanwhile, Brian Wisdom, chief executive of People 1st, has recently claimed women’s management skills are being wasted in the travel industry.

His comments came as statistics from the organisation showed the percentage of managers in the hospitality industry who are female fell from 49 per cent in 2004-05 to 46 per cent in 2007-08.

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