Feeds

Pregnant employees treated like dirt

Congratulations - you're fired

  • alert
  • submit to reddit

Internet Security Threat Report 2014

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

Intelligent flash storage arrays

More from The Register

next story
Musicians sue UK.gov over 'zero pay' copyright fix
Everyone else in Europe compensates us - why can't you?
Bladerunner sequel might actually be good. Harrison Ford is in it
Go ahead, you're all clear, kid... Sorry, wrong film
I'll be back (and forward): Hollywood's time travel tribulations
Quick, call the Time Cops to sort out this paradox!
Megaupload overlord Kim Dotcom: The US HAS RADICALISED ME!
Now my lawyers have bailed 'cos I'm 'OFFICIALLY' BROKE
Forget Hillary, HP's ex CARLY FIORINA 'wants to be next US Prez'
Former CEO has political ambitions again, according to Washington DC sources
Euro Parliament VOTES to BREAK UP GOOGLE. Er, OK then
It CANNA do it, captain.They DON'T have the POWER!
prev story

Whitepapers

Free virtual appliance for wire data analytics
The ExtraHop Discovery Edition is a free virtual appliance will help you to discover the performance of your applications across the network, web, VDI, database, and storage tiers.
A strategic approach to identity relationship management
ForgeRock commissioned Forrester to evaluate companies’ IAM practices and requirements when it comes to customer-facing scenarios versus employee-facing ones.
5 critical considerations for enterprise cloud backup
Key considerations when evaluating cloud backup solutions to ensure adequate protection security and availability of enterprise data.
High Performance for All
While HPC is not new, it has traditionally been seen as a specialist area – is it now geared up to meet more mainstream requirements?
Security and trust: The backbone of doing business over the internet
Explores the current state of website security and the contributions Symantec is making to help organizations protect critical data and build trust with customers.