Pregnancy and Maternity Discrimination

Work and Pensions – in the House of Commons on 27th January 2020.

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Photo of Marco Longhi Marco Longhi Conservative, Dudley North

What recent discussion she has had with Cabinet colleagues on protecting employees that are (a) pregnant and (b) eligible for maternity leave against discrimination at work.

Photo of Mims Davies Mims Davies The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Work and Pensions

I remind everyone in the Chamber that the law is clear: pregnancy and maternity discrimination against women in the workplace is unlawful. This area is led by the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy. I can confirm that this Government want to do more and we have set out plans to boost vital legal protections.

Photo of Marco Longhi Marco Longhi Conservative, Dudley North

By some margin, Dudley North is not showing the same fantastic rate of progress we are making with people on employment in the black country and around the country. Will the Minister use all the business-friendly measures she can, such as promoting shared parental leave, to encourage people back to work?

Photo of Mims Davies Mims Davies The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Work and Pensions

Whether it is shared parental leave or flexible working, we need to do everything to get more people into work and progressing. In a recent survey, four in five employers felt that it was in their interests to support pregnant women and bring them back to work. I remind the House that, under this Government, unemployment, in all nations and regions, has fallen since 2010, with 80% of employment since then in higher-skilled occupations—we are talking about 3.1 million people. If my hon. Friend is not seeing this in his constituency, I am keen to meet him to explore why.