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The first legislation protecting women from unfair dismissal because of pregnancy was introduced 40 years ago. Since then, successive legislation has strengthened maternity rights. Women are now protected from any unfavourable treatment at work because of pregnancy or maternity leave. Yet, despite these legal rights, pregnancy and maternity leave is still a time when everything changes for many women at work.
A recent survey of 2,000 women found that 6 in 10 mothers felt sidelined at work as soon as they announced their pregnancy and 4 in 10 of 500 managers surveyed admitted that they were wary of hiring a woman of childbearing age. Another survey of 1,000 low paid women found that 1 in 10 were given a more junior role on return from leave.
This TUC report says pregnancy and motherhood can seriously affect a woman’s career. Around a quarter of women don’t return to work after maternity leave, and one in six of the mums who do go back, change jobs because their employer won’t allow them to work reduced or flexible hours. It identifies ten ways pregnant women and new mothers are mistreated at work and five things that need to change. Download The Pregnancy Test report [PDF]
Pregnancy discrimination is not a myth [Video]
Pregnancy discrimination can have a scarring effect on women’s careers. Rebecca Raven talks about how her life was changed by pregnancy discrimination. Watch video