Feeds

Pregnant employees treated like dirt

Congratulations - you're fired

  • alert
  • submit to reddit

Build a business case: developing custom apps

Research from the Equal Opportunities Commission and shopworkers union Usdaw shows the levels of discrimination suffered by pregnant women in the UK.

Problems include dismissal, redundancy, forced resignation or being denied training. Nearly a quarter of women who made formal claims of pregnancy discrimination were dismissed within hours or days of telling their employers they were pregnant. Fewer than one in three women received a health and safety risk assessment. One in five women who return to work after having a baby do so at a lower grade or job than they held before.

The EOC has been investigating this for a year. The EOC is seeking responses to its findings before 30 September. These will be presented to Patricia Hewitt, Secretary of State for trade and industry, in March 2005.

The research found pregnant women are less likely to make formal tribunal complaints because of the stress involved and the three month limit on making such complaints.

The EOC says many problems are caused by lack of knowledge amongst both employers and employees. It recomends that both parties receive a copy of their rights and responsibilities. For instance many employers are not aware they can reclaim Statutory Maternity Pay, small employers can claim 105 per cent of such payments.

The EOC also calls on the Goverment to review existing law to make it easier for everyone to understand. It also calls for more action on enforcement from the Health and Safety Executive and an extension to the three month time limit for filing complaints. The lobby group also calls for more access to mediation and conciliation services to stop cases going to tribunal.

Research from shopworkers union Usdaw, also published to mark National Pregnancy Week, mirrored EOC's findings. Usdaw spoke to 1,200 pregnant women working for UK retailers. 62 per cent of those questioned felt their pregnancy resulted in a more negative attitude from their employer - one in four felt "marginalised and ignored". More than 70 per cent did not receive a Health and Safety assessment.

A quarter of pregnant women were not given a suitable uniform to wear. Many women had to use elastic and zips to adjust their own uniforms or borrow bigger uniforms from colleagues. One store had only one pregnancy uniform which was passed on from one pregnant worker to another.

More details on the EOC interim report are available for download here.

And there's more on Usdaw's findings here. ®

Related stories

Small.biz: hotbed of sexism?
Secretary sacked for cyberlounge abuse
HP email abuse dismissals unfair, says tribunal

The Essential Guide to IT Transformation

More from The Register

next story
BBC goes offline in MASSIVE COCKUP: Stephen Fry partly muzzled
Auntie tight-lipped as major outage rolls on
iPad? More like iFAD: We reveal why Apple fell into IBM's arms
But never fear fanbois, you're still lapping up iPhones, Macs
Sonos AXES support for Apple's iOS4 and 5
Want to use your iThing? You can't - it's too old
Stick a 4K in them: Super high-res TVs are DONE
4,000 pixels is niche now... Don't say we didn't warn you
Philip K Dick 'Nazi alternate reality' story to be made into TV series
Amazon Studios, Ridley Scott firm to produce The Man in the High Castle
There's NOTHING on TV in Europe – American video DOMINATES
Even France's mega subsidies don't stop US content onslaught
You! Pirate! Stop pirating, or we shall admonish you politely. Repeatedly, if necessary
And we shall go about telling people you smell. No, not really
Too many IT conferences to cover? MICROSOFT to the RESCUE!
Yet more word of cuts emerges from Redmond
Joe Average isn't worth $10 a year to Mark Zuckerberg
The Social Network deflates the PC resurgence with mobile-only usage prediction
prev story

Whitepapers

Implementing global e-invoicing with guaranteed legal certainty
Explaining the role local tax compliance plays in successful supply chain management and e-business and how leading global brands are addressing this.
The Essential Guide to IT Transformation
ServiceNow discusses three IT transformations that can help CIO's automate IT services to transform IT and the enterprise.
Consolidation: The Foundation for IT Business Transformation
In this whitepaper learn how effective consolidation of IT and business resources can enable multiple, meaningful business benefits.
How modern custom applications can spur business growth
Learn how to create, deploy and manage custom applications without consuming or expanding the need for scarce, expensive IT resources.
Build a business case: developing custom apps
Learn how to maximize the value of custom applications by accelerating and simplifying their development.