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A new report released today has called on the government to take urgent action to protect new and expectant mothers in the workplace.
It looks to ensure changes to a range of areas and increased protection for workers to help prevent pregnant women and mothers being forced out of work.
The Women and Equalities Committee Chair Maria Miller said, “Thousands of expectant and new mothers have no choice but to leave their work because of concerns about the safety of their child or pregnancy discrimination.” Over the last decade the number leaving work has doubled 54,000.
The committee recommends changes to health and safety practices, including individual risk assessments, preventing discriminatory redundancies and increased protection for agency, casual and zero-hour contract workers.
In the UK, it’s illegal to dismiss a woman for issues relating to having a child, however companies are able to choose redundancy for other reasons.
The report says the Government has a clear responsibility to ensure that pregnancy and maternity discrimination laws and protections are better enforced and recommends action from the government within the next two years.
Our Employment Law Solicitor, Catherine Hare says:
“Whilst any action to reduce discrimination in the workplace is welcome, we find that companies take the health and wellbeing of their employees extremely seriously. In particular, those employees who are pregnant and only take business decisions when appropriate and absolutely necessary. It will be interesting to see what actions the Government take to implement the key recommendations in the report.”
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