One of the definitions of local in the Oxford Dictionaries is "a pub convenient to a person's home."
It seems to me that a fuller context is required here. It's not clear if the maternity leave was mandated by law or if the mother needed time to care for the child or if the mother-to-be had complications of pregnancy. Is there any indication of how the situation damaged the family unit in any way other than financial?
Student or Learner