Pregnancy Discrimination on the Rise
The Citizens Advice Bureau have recently reported a 25% increase of queries from women who are experiencing discrimination in the work place because they are pregnant or since they have returned to work after their maternity leave.
Women have reported that following their return they had been put onto zero-hour contracts even though they were not employed on these types of contracts previously. Some women expressed concerned that they had been pressured to return to work too early and some have even been forced out of their jobs. One woman reported that her contracted hours were halved after she was told that there was not enough work to go around but at the same time she found out the company were recruiting for new staff.
Lawson-West Employment Specialist Carrie-Ann Randall comments: “An expectant mother or a mother returning to work after her maternity leave does not want to be having to deal with unnecessary problems in the workplace. No type of discrimination is acceptable. Women in this situation need to be familiar with their rights and the obligations of their employer to try to prevent this type of conduct. Equally, employers should seek guidance on their obligations upon discovery of a pregnant employee to avoid any possibility of ‘getting it wrong’. Women should not be treated this way. If you feel that you have been treated unfairly due to a pregnancy, returning to work or a flexible working request or you are employer uncertain what you need to do, please contact myself or my colleagues on 01858 445480 or 0116 212100.”