Committee calls for German-style protections for pregnant women after ‘shocking’ workplace discrimination revealed

pregnant woman at her desk featuredThe Women and Equalities Committee has called for protections for pregnant women to be introduced, similar to those in Germany.

The report, released by the committee, called for the Government to introduce changes to health and safety practices, prevent discriminatory redundancies and increase protection for casual, agency and zero hours workers.

Recent statistics revealed that 54,000 expectant or new mothers were forced to leave their jobs due to discrimination; while it costs women £1,200 to take their employer to an employment tribunal in a pregnancy related case. The committee are also calling for the Government to ensure pregnancy-related rights remained in place following the Brexit decision.

The report comes after new research from the Institute for Fiscal Studies (IFS) found that once a woman has her first child, during the subsequent 12 years the hourly pay rate falls 33 per cent behind a man’s.

Maria Miller, Committee Chair and Conservative MP said, “The arrival of a new baby puts family finances under extreme pressure yet, despite this, thousands of expectant and new mothers have no choice but to leave their work because of concerns about the safety of their child or pregnancy discrimination. Shockingly this figure has almost doubled in the last decade, now standing at 54,000.”

“There are now record numbers of women in work in the UK. The economy will suffer unless employers modernise their workplace practices to ensure effective support and protection for expectant and new mums.”

“The Government’s approach has lacked urgency and bite. It needs to set out a detailed plan outlining the specific actions will take to tackle this unacceptable level of discrimination. This work must be underpinned by concrete targets and changes to laws and protections to increase compliance by employers to improve women’s lives.”

To view the full report, click here.

About the author

Alison is the Digital Content Editor for WeAreTheCity. She has a BA Honours degree in Journalism and History from the University of Portsmouth. She has previously worked in the marketing sector and in a copywriting role. Alison’s other passions and hobbies include writing, blogging and travelling.

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