A report, commissioned by the Government, has highlighted the significant problems that exist in relation to the treatment of pregnant women and new mothers in the workplace.
The full report can be viewed by clicking here.
As can be seen, the report 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.
Following on from this research, which was based on interviews with 3,254 mothers and 3,034 employers, the Equality and Human Rights Commission made a series of recommendations, which were presented to the Government on 1 February 2016. A separate report detailing the Government’s response to these recommendations can be viewed by clicking here.
As can be seen, the Government has accepted a number of the recommendations, including exploring the feasibility of a collective insurance scheme to support small and medium-sized employers to spread the cost of providing enhanced maternity pay and cover for maternity leave. The Government has, however, rejected outright the recommendation of the Commission to makes changes to the employment tribunal fee system to ensure that fees are not a barrier to accessing justice for women experiencing pregnancy and maternity discrimination.
If you believe that you have been subjected to pregnancy and maternity discrimination in the workplace, please contact the Employment team on 088 088 6004 for further advice.