Employment and Expectant Mothers – Know Your Rights

The Current Situation

A recent report published by the Women and Equalities Committee brought to light some important changes surrounding pregnant women and their protection within their place of employment; the “shocking and unacceptable” rise over the last 10 years in the UK regarding workplace discrimination against both expectant and new mothers.

Due to these new developments, MPs have demanded that Government action needs to be taken as a matter of urgency in order to respond to this issue effectively.

The report claimed: “we find it shocking that the number of new and expectant mothers feeling forced out of their job has nearly doubled in the past decade”

Further attention was drawn to women working within “casual” employment – including zero-hour contract and agency positions – because the likelihood of these individuals reporting issues such as health and safety risks is higher than others.

The Women and Equalities Committee is keen for a German style process, where women who fall pregnant can only face redundancy in rare circumstances. This is in comparison with the UK, where companies can use other reasons to terminate employment. There is an argument that by taking on the German law, this would make unfair redundancies more difficult to execute in the UK.

You can read the full report here.

The Linder Myers Employment Law solicitors are dedicated to rectifying injustice within the workplace, including issues surrounding pregnancy and your rights. We are here to offer you straightforward guidance today. Contact us on 02382 148019.

Know Your Legal Employment Rights

Linder Myers are here to ask you this: as an expecting or new mother, what are your legal rights? Our expert Employment Law team are committed to keeping you up to date and informed, in order to put your mind at rest.

“It is vital that the law protects these women – some of whom are in causal, agency work or on zero-hours contracts where they are unable to access protected time for vital antenatal appointments.” - Rebecca Schiller, Chief Executive of the charity Birthrights

During your pregnancy:

  • You are protected against unfair treatment/dismissal due to your pregnancy
  • You have the right to health and safety protection for yourself and your baby
  • You have the right to reasonable paid time off with regards to antenatal care
  • Employees have the right to maternity leave up to 52 weeks (you may qualify for payment during this period also)
  • As soon as you let your employer know about your pregnancy, you should be immediately protected against any unfair treatment, dismissal or discrimination with regard to your pregnancy (including refusal to promote you, reduction of pay or hours, and refusal of training prospects.)
“The economy will suffer unless employers modernise their workplace practices to ensure effective support and protection for expectant and new mums.” – Maria Miller, Chair of the Women and Equalities Select Committee

You can find more details about your rights by clicking here.

Report Figures To Remember

  • The number of new/expectant mothers forced to leave their place of work has nearly doubled since 2005 – reaching 54,000.
  • 77% of new mothers and pregnant women suffered discrimination in the work place. This is compared to 45% a decade ago.
  • 25% of pregnant and expecting women left their employer due to pregnancy and maternity health & safety issues not being dealt with.

Employment Law Experts At Linder Myers

The Linder Myers Employment Law team hold a wealth of experience in a wide range of cases. Our solicitors understand that every situation is different, and therefore offer a unique and professional service that is second to none.

If you believe that you have experienced injustice within the workplace with regard to your pregnancy or any other issue, do not hesitate to contact us on 02382 148019. You can also visit our informative Employment Law page.

Linder Myers have years of experience – find out how our legal experts can help you today.

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