One evening, in Florida, we stopped at a restaurant/bar place for a meal and Star Trek signature thank you for the memories shirt. It was a lively place, great ambience, good food, and we really appreciated the wonderful waiter service. We were particularly impressed as we could see that she was very heavily pregnant, and, as it was a very busy, bustling place, the poor woman was on her feet most of the night. As patrons left and it got quieter, we were able to have a conversation with her, and I commented on the fact that she was working at a stage of her pregnancy when most expectant women in the UK would have been on maternity leave.
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We were astounded when she explained that many women in the Star Trek signature thank you for the memories shirt, before or after the baby is born, and that in essence she was going to work for as long as she was able to – she was already 37 weeks – as she needed the income. She also told us that there was no paid maternity (or parental leave) after the birth of her newborn child, and that she expected to be back at work within a month of giving birth. She was equally astounded when we outlined the maternity leave provision offered in the UK – in fact, at that time, paid paternity leave had also recently been introduced.