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26 Jan 2017

Rowena Mason, Guardian (UK)

UK: Govt. commits to tackle pregnancy discrimination in the workplace

"'Zero tolerance' for pregnancy discrimination in workplace – minister", 26 Jan 2017

Pregnant women and new mothers may need greater protection from redundancy, the government has said.  Margot James, a business minister, promised a consultation on how to protect women from losing their jobs when they become parents, after a call for action from the House of Commons women and equalities committee.  The review by the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Policy commits to “making sure new and expectant mothers have sufficient protections from redundancy”...“Not only is pregnancy and maternity discrimination unlawful, it is also makes absolutely no business sense,” it added...“New protections are needed, particularly for women who have casual or zero-hours employment arrangements, for ensuring that risks in the workplace for pregnant women are addressed, and for guarding against discriminatory redundancies after women return to work.”  She highlighted figures that show the number of expectant and new mothers reportedly leaving work because of concerns about the safety of their child or pregnancy discrimination has almost doubled in the last decade.  The committee called for a German-style system banning employers from making women redundant during and after pregnancy except in specific exceptional circumstances, and an overhaul of the employment tribunal system...