Citizens Advice has warned of an increase in pregnant women and mothers-to-be facing discrimination at work.
The organisation has released new figures revealing a 25% increase in people looking for advice on pregnancy and maternity discrimination since last year.
Between this time last year and March this year, almost 2000 people have turned to Citizens Advice for help with pregnancy and maternity discrimination; an increase of just under 500 from the previous 12 months. In four out of five cases people were seeking advice with employment problems. A third of these were about redundancy or dismissal.
The problems reported included pressure to return to work early from maternity leave, working hours being cut, being issued zero hour contracts and even being forced out of their jobs.
These figures come on the back of the Equality and Human Rights Commission’s research. The EHRC revealed that 77% of mothers have reported a negative or discriminatory experience during pregnancy, maternity leave or when returning to work. The law currently states that it is illegal for employers not to carry out an employee’s maternity rights.
Chief Executive at Citizens Advice, Gillian Guy said, “Pregnant women should be supported at work, not made to fear for their livelihood.”
“It is concerning that more and more new and expectant mums are experiencing discrimination issues at work.”
“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 and job security. All employers should respect and uphold the rights of staff who are new parents or expecting a baby.”
For further advice on maternity and pregnancy related issues, click here.