Over the last decade, the UK has seen a huge and shocking rise in discrimination against expectant mothers. In a recent report published by the women’s and equality select committee, the findings highlight a growing trend in the redundancy of expecting ladies.
But what exactly does discrimination against pregnant women look like?
In one of the many cases exposed up and down the country, business like to do ‘restructuring’. This so-called cover for axing the jobs of women who are on maternity leave, is an underhand and commonly used tactic.
There are many cases when women have left for maternity leave, only to realise they have been made redundant as ‘their job is no longer required’. However, in many of these cases, the job role is simply demoted and re-made using a different job title.
Many women are then forced to apply for these roles which are lower paying, and can often face no promotion for many years.
But more than often It’s not just direct discrimination, there are often underhand ways of making women feel unwanted in the workplace. During pregnancy, if certain allowances need to made, companies can make themselves difficult to deal with.
Services that need to be provided for pregnant women, such as adequate seating and mobility must be provided. If they are not this is counted as discrimination.
These small and subtle changes to the attitude to you in the workplace can often make women leave under the pressure.
So what has committee called for? Well they have called for a revamp of the system and call for a system that is common is Germany. This system means that a women’s job who is on maternity leave cannot be axed unless there are distinct circumstances.
There were also concerns over zero hour contracts workers, casual workers or any other and agency workers who were more likely to report health and safety hazards – it also meant that they left work due to those hazards.
In a study carried out by the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills, it found that 77% of pregnant women and new mothers experience discrimination at work, compared with 45% 10 years ago and 11% lost their jobs.
The recommendations also included greater protections, paid time off for antenatal appointments and also a discounted legal fees for anyone seeking a tribunal in case of discriminatory treatment.
If you feel discriminated against at work, don’t suffer in silence! Seek legal advice.
If you find you need any advice around discrimination at work or simply want to know more, don’t hesitate to call our team on: 0116 2999 199 or alternatively you can email us at: firstname.lastname@example.org