Every mum knows that looking after young children can be exhausting. So exhausting, in fact, that caring for a baby actually puts new mums in breach of the EU Working Time Directive.

If parenthood were treated in the same way as paid employment, the number of hours that British mothers spend looking after their children each week would be in breach Articles 3, 5 and 6 (b) of 2003 directive, research by leading greeting card and gift retailer Clintons has revealed.

Mums were found to exceed the maximum working hours per week, receive no paid annual leave and are not given adequate rest periods by their baby employers.

The European Union’s Working Time Directive states that employees should work no more than 48 hours per week. They are also entitled to a rest period of eleven consecutive hours every day and a rest break once every six working hours.

Additionally, mums miss out on an uninterrupted 24 hours break once every seven days, and at least four weeks paid leave every year. Researchers found that 0% of baby employers have made provisions to fulfil this requirement.

Tim Fairs, director at Clintons, said: “Parents put in a huge amount of work, week in and week out, looking after their kids. Often this work goes completely unrewarded.

“Mothers’ Day is an opportunity to say thank you for everything mums do, but we shouldn’t wait for just one special day every year to acknowledge their hard work. We should celebrate mums every day of the year.”

To all the busy mums out there, make sure you take some time out and spoil yourself. After all, it’s the law!