Pregnancy: Conditions of Employment

Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy written question – answered on 9th March 2018.

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Photo of Lord Taylor of Warwick Lord Taylor of Warwick Non-affiliated

To ask Her Majesty's Government what steps they are taking to increase understanding of, and compliance with, employment laws relating to pregnant women and new mothers.

Photo of Lord Henley Lord Henley Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy)

In November 2017 ACAS published comprehensive guidance on pregnancy and maternity discrimination for both women and for businesses.

The Government has recently updated the MAT B1 form (the form which enables a pregnant woman to claim Statutory Maternity Pay from her employer or Maternity Allowance from Jobcentre Plus) to include a link to advice and guidance on employment rights for pregnant women and new mothers. The NHS’s Start4Life campaign (an information service for expectant and new parents) now provides the same link in its emails. In the Government response to the Taylor Review of Modern Working Practices we further committed to update and consolidate the pregnancy and maternity discrimination pages on GOV.UK by summer 2018.

The Government continues to work with EHRC and its Working Forward campaign. This nationwide campaign, backed by some of the UK’s leading businesses and industry bodies, aims to make workplaces the best they can be for pregnant women and new parents. HSE’s web page on protecting new and expectant mothers provides a wide range of guidance on pregnancy related issues in the workplace. There is also clear guidance for employees to report concerns if they believe health and safety law is being broken. In addition, Government funds both the ACAS helpline and the Equality Advisory and Support Service, which provide free advice in this area.

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