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Pregnancy and maternity discrimination

New and expectant mothers suffering increasing levels of unfair treatment at work.

The Equality Act 2010 makes it unlawful to discriminate against a woman because of a reason connected to her pregnancy or maternity leave. However, a recent review by the Citizens Advice Bureau has reported a 25% rise in people seeking advice on pregnancy and maternity discrimination over the past year.

On publishing the findings, Citizens Advice Chief Executive Gillian Guy said that

“Pregnant women should be supported at work, not made to fear for their livelihood. It is concerning that more and more new and expectant mums are experiencing discrimination issues at work. People with a baby on the way will have a lot on their minds already. The last thing they need is a threat to their income or job security. All employers should respect and uphold the rights of staff who are new parents or expecting a baby.”

The findings by the Citizen Advice Bureau have come quickly off the back of a report by the Equality and Human Rights Commission, which found that 77% of mothers said they had a negative or possibly discriminatory experience during pregnancy, maternity leave, and/or on return from maternity leave, whilst one in five mothers said they experienced harassment or negative comments related to pregnancy or flexible working from their employer/colleagues.

If you are a new or expectant mother and you are concerned that you have been discriminated against at work on the grounds of your pregnancy and/or maternity, please contact the Employment team on 0800 088 6004.