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Pregnancy and maternity discrimination forces thousands of new mothers out of their jobs

New research, Pregnancy and Maternity-Related Discrimination and Disadvantage First findings: Surveys of Employers and Mothers, carried out by the EHRC and the BIS, which surveyed over 3,200 women, resulted in 11% reporting having been dismissed, made compulsorily redundant where others in their workplace were not, or treated so poorly they felt they had to leave their jobs. The research also found around 20% of new mothers experienced harassment or negative comments from their colleagues, employer or manager when pregnant or returning from maternity leave. However, the research also shows that many employers, across a range of industries, say they are firm supporters of female staff during and after their pregnancies and find it easy to comply with the law. 

Nevertheless, the EHRC are concerned about “the worrying levels of discrimination and disadvantage at work that women still face today” and so have launched a new initiative ‘#worksforme’ showcasing useful guidance aimed at helping make pregnancy and maternity a positive experience for employers and employees.

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