Pregnancy discrimination over the last decade has reached “shocking” levels, according to a new report.
The latest Women and Equalities Committee report shows the huge levels of discrimination against women in the workplace and now MPs are urging the Government to take action to tackle the issues.
Report calls for more protection for mothers
It is illegal to fire women for child-related reasons however some firms choose to make them redundant to avoid redress from pregnancy and maternity discrimination.
More than 54,000 new and expectant mothers were illegally dismissed from their jobs in 2015 as a result of discrimination by their employers.
11% reported being either dismissed, made compulsorily redundant, where others in their workplace were not, or treated so poorly that they felt they had to leave their job.
The report also urges the government to provide added protections for casual, agency or zero hours workers who are pregnant or have just given birth who are not entitled to statutory maternity leave or pay.
However, under the Employment Rights Act 1996 some contracted workers and self-employed contractors are afforded added protection.
Additionally, agency workers – those in continuous employment for 12 weeks or more – are entitled to paid time off to attend antenatal appointments.
The shadow minister for women and equalities, Angela Rainer, says thousands of expectant mothers are being “priced out of justice” because of tribunal fees introduced by the Government.
Gillian Guy, chief executive of Citizens Advice, warns that some companies are getting away with treating their employees unfairly.
“At such a crucial time in their lives when these women want to be enjoying time with their new baby, the last thing they need is to be affording a legal battle with their employer; something has to change and I believe this report is one step further in highlighting the abhorrent truth which still occurs in today’s modern society,” she said.
Source: Response Source
Date Published: September 27, 2016
Author: Jonathan Brown