Pregnancy Discrimination – Still A Problem In the Workplace?


It is hard to believe that in 2013 women still experience pregnancy discrimination in the workplace, and women of child bearing age are being mistreated.


This is an issue that Mark Hammond, chief executive of the Equality and Human Rights Commission says, "needs to be tackled". The government are also expected to announce that they will be implementing a £1million programme to tackle the problem.

I Am A Pregnant Worker – What Are My Rights?

As a pregnant woman at work, you have the right to:
  • Time off work for ante-natal appointments with reasonable pay
  • Health and safety protection for you and your baby
  • Protection from unfair treatment or dismissal because you are pregnant
The charity Maternity Action receive on average around 2,200 calls a year from women who are having trouble in their workplace because they are pregnant and feel they are being treated poorly because of it.

It is believed that this programme will educate employers on their role, especially in light of figures that show over 9,000 pregnancy discrimination claims have been brought against employers since 2007. It has been almost a decade since such research has taken place.

What Changes Have Already Happened?

In recent years, the government has tried to highlight the problems that families, not just women, experience when they start or expand their families. In recognising this, they have tried to implement rules and measures to lessen the burden such as:
  • Extending maternity leave and pay
  • Allowing for substantial paternity leave, on par with maternity leave
  • The right to request flexible working hours
However, despite this, more could be done to stop the 30,000 women who participated in the last survey saying they have been forced out of their jobs.

What If I Have Already Been A Victim of Discrimination?

If you have already experienced pregnancy discrimination at your workplace, Simpson Millar LLP can help you resolve the problem. We can either negotiate with your employer to see if we can come to a compromise or take a more formal approach and help you with your claim in an employment tribunal.

We can tell you about any time limits or procedures that you will need to be aware of if you choose us to handle your claim.

Our experienced employment law solicitors will be able to answer all of your questions and talk you through any issues you may have about fees.

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