Mother and Baby

Discrimination Against Pregnant Women In The Workplace Continues, Says New EHRC Survey

New EHRC Survey

Research by the Equality and Human Rights Commission (EHRC) shows more than 10% of mothers experience workplace discrimination

The latest survey by EHRC is based on interviews with 3,034 employers and 3,254 mothers.

The results show what many working mums unfortunately know to be true - that discrimination against pregnant women in the workplace continues. 

The majority of employers reported that it was in their interests to support pregnant women and those on maternity leave and they agreed that statutory rights relating to pregnancy and maternity are reasonable and easy to implement. However, the research found that:

  • Around one in nine mothers (11%) reported that they were either dismissed, made compulsorily redundant, where others in their workplace were not, or treated so poorly they felt they had to leave their job; if scaled up to the general population this could mean as many as 54,000 mothers a year.
  • One in five mothers said they had experienced harassment or negative comments related to pregnancy or flexible working from their employer and/or colleagues.
  • 10% of mothers said their employer discouraged them from attending antenatal appointments.

Leading expert and founder of Parental Choice Sarah-Jane Butler comments: “Thousands of women each year still face discrimination in the workplace due to being pregnant or being a mother.

Thousands of women each year still face discrimination in the workplace

“The harassment, unfair treatment and negative attitudes that new mothers face is not only damaging to them but also immensely short sighted of the companies they work for. The loss of talent and experience only costs companies more in the long run and throws our so-called progressive society back into Dickensian times.

“It is no wonder that fathers aren't taking up shared parental leave when they see their partners suffering so badly at their hands of their employers.”

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