More pregnant women and new mothers are discriminated at work

More pregnant women and new mothers are discriminated at work

“All employers should respect and uphold the rights of staff who are new parents or expecting a baby. The last thing they need is a threat to their income or job security.”

Beside the many challenges of exploring the new terrain of motherhood, it seems as if more and more pregnant women and new mothers are facing an altogether different challenge.

According to a recently published study by Citizen Advice, there have been between April 2015 and March 2016 a 25% spike in people seeking advice about pregnancy and maternity discrimination in the workplace.

It said that almost 2,000 people sought advice on the topics; the previous year accrued only 1,500 people.

Not only that, some pregnant women and new mothers’ working hours were cut, some were placed on zero-hour contracts, while some were even dismissed illegally.

The study also recalled an instance in which a woman got in touch with her employer to ask why she hadn’t received her maternity pay.

“She was then told they had ended her contract while she was on maternity leave,” said a Buzzfeed report.

“Another pregnant woman claimed she was told her hours were being halved because of a lack of work, while at the same time her boss was hiring new employees.”

Gillian Guy, chief executive of Citizen Advice, said that expecting mothers should be supported at work, and that they shouldn’t be afraid to lose their jobs.

“It is concerning that more and more new and expectant mums are experiencing discrimination issues at work,” Gillian said.

A March study by the Equality and Human Rights Commission (ECHR) revealed that over three quarters of mothers experienced instances of negative or and discriminatory incidence in the workplace during pregnancy, maternity leave, or upon returning to work.

The research also found that as a result of poor treatment at work, one in six mothers negative impact on their health and stress levels. It also revealed that one in nine pregnant women and new mothers lose their job.

Said Gillian Guy: “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."

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Written by

James Martinez

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