Sadly, pregnancy and maternity related discrimination is one of the more common types of discrimination in the workplace that we are approached about. The Equality and Human Rights Commission (“EHRC”) conducted a survey of 6,000 new mothers and employers that covered attitudes to a range of pregnancy and maternity related issues affecting the work place.
It (EHRC) found that 11% of mothers were either forced out of work (through dismissal or compulsory redundancy) or felt they were treated so poorly that they had to leave their job. An even greater 20% said that they experienced some form of harassment or negative comments relating to their pregnancy or a flexible working request.
Discrimination for pregnancy and maternity related reasons is prohibited by the Equality Act 2010.
Discrimination can take many forms; direct discrimination where you are treated less favourably than another colleague as a direct result of your pregnancy; harassment, where you are being harassed in relation to your sex, for example, a woman who suffers unpleasant gossip about her pregnancy is being harassed on the basis of her sex; or victimisation, where you are subjected to a disadvantage because you have raised with your employer (or a colleague) the fact that you feel you are being discriminated against because of your pregnancy and/or for trying to assert your rights under the Equality Act 2010.
If you are experiencing discrimination of any form, you are sadly not alone.
You can do something about it! Get to know your rights – pregnant women and new mothers are entitled to:
- Time off for ante-natal appointments
- Health and safety protection (a risk assessment should be carried out on your return to work)
- Up to 52 weeks maternity leave irrespective of your length of service
- 39 weeks statutory maternity pa
- The right to return to the same job
- The right to request flexible working arrangements and the right for that to be properly considered
- Protection from discrimination by reason of your pregnancy or maternity.
- If you are being treated unfairly or denied any of your rights Wilson Browne Solicitors’ specialist employment team can help. Whether it is a quick question about pay entitlement, mistreatment, or issues relating to heath and safety, we are on hand to assist.
To arrange a free consultation call 0800 088 6004 today.
Our Employment Team is only a phone call away and we’re ready to help if you feel you’ve been discriminated against.