Government Strengthening Pregnancy Discrimination Laws Pregnancy Discrimination; Is Enough Currently Being Done?
The government is considering
strengthening the laws against pregnancy discrimination for new and expectant mothers, in response to a recommendation from the Women and Equalities Committee. The BBC reports that research considered by MP’s showed that 11% of mothers felt that they had been forced out of their jobs, mostly by bad treatment by their employers rather than through direct dismissal or redundancy.
The Women and Equalities Committee made 18 recommendations to stop unfair pregnancy discrimination, including recommending giving women greater legal protection and requiring employers to carry out individual health assessments on new or expectant mothers.
Is There Anything You Need To Change?
employment law consultant for ELAS, says: “The employment rights of pregnant women is a hot button issue right now as they have the potential to conflict with a work environment which is moving in an ever more flexible direction, but it is the fundamental basis of UK equality legislation that no woman should be treated in a less favourable manner due to their pregnancy. In that respect the protections are robust and stamp down on breaches by employers.
“The government has also committed that workers’ rights in the UK will not be diluted when Britain leaves the EU.
“However, to try to legislate for what the survey classes as ‘bad treatment’ which falls outside of current legislation may be a fraught exercise. The outcome may be rights described in such vague terms as to be meaningless, or so subjective that employers will not know where they stand. As always if unsure of what to do, when advised of a pregnancy in the workforce, employers should seek HR advice.”