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Self-employed mum

MUM-OF-TWO Aisling Hurley (39) returned to work two weeks after the birth of her youngest daughter Amy (7).

And the successful businesswoman took just six weeks’ leave when her eldest daughter, Katie (12), was born. Aisling is the managing director of Teamwoodcraft, a Laois-based company which specialises in customised joinery products, which she set up with her husband Liam, a cabinet maker.

“When I had Katie we were trying to get Teamwoodcraft off the ground. It was still very early days,” she says. Her background is in IT, and at that time she was also doing freelance consultancy work as well.

When she returned to work after the birth of her first child Katie, it was difficult. “I’d be trying to feed the baby in one hand and answer the phone with the other,” she recalls.

“I suppose you have a lot of get up and go when you have your own business. It’s just part of who you are. “When Amy was born I was back in the office two weeks after I had her,” she says. She points out that having always worked for herself, she has never had the luxury of taking extended maternity leave.

“That’s one thing that I feel is so wrong with the system. Your really seem to be penalised from every side just because you have set up your own business.

“When you have your children, you have to get back to work when you’re self employed. I think they really need to start looking at the legislation and seeing how it is that if you are working for someone else, you are entitled to more than the person who is working all hours to try and get a business off the ground and create employment, but who is entitled to nothing as regards maternity leave.”