According to a recent article in the Observer "pregnant women are under threat as never before." The paper quotes Rosalind Bragg, director of charity Maternity Action, as saying: "During the recession, we've seen an increase in the number of women being chosen for redundancy because they're pregnant."
But Ros Bragg cautions: "It's still extraordinarily difficult to pursue an action for pregnancy discrimination. Whilst the law's clear, it's often very difficult to prove. Plus women who are in the late stages of pregnancy, or at home looking after a baby, or who have just returned to work, simply don't have the time or energy." "We're very concerned that some unscrupulous employers are using the recession as an excuse to unfairly target pregnant women and women on maternity leave," she adds.
Back in 2005, the Equal Opportunities Commission (since renamed the Equality and Human Rights Commission) estimated 30,000 women lose their jobs each year as a result of being pregnant. It also predicted a million pregnant women would experience some form of workplace discrimination in the five years following publication of the report.
The Alliance Against Pregnancy Discrimination in the Workplace - a campaign group comprising Working Families, Maternity Action, the Fawcett Society, Citizens Advice, and Gingerbread - say the Government has failed to collect data on pregnancy discrimination during this period and made little attempt to ensure employers comply with the law.
And Working Families told the Guardian it had received an influx of calls this year, including at least one a month "where a woman is dismissed on, or soon after, the day she informs her employer of her pregnancy."
** Additional Information & Advice **
Depending on the circumstances of your case, however, it may be better to speak with a solicitor who specialises in employment law. You can be matched with a solicitor in your area for free via solicitor matching services, which can also help you to understand the best course of action for your situation and whether you are ready to hire a solicitor.
- Redundancy during pregnancy and maternity leave
- Pregnant staff face new wave of bullying in recession
- Employers 'targeting pregnant women for redundancy'
- Expecting a baby? Congratulations - pick up your P45 at
the door (The Observer)
- Report On Pregnancy Discrimination (Equal
Opportunities Commission, 2005)
- Alliance Against Pregnancy Discrimination in the
- Working Families
- Maternity Action
- Fawcett Society
- Citizens Advice