Employment: Pregnancy

Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy written question – answered on 25th June 2018.

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Photo of Maria Miller Maria Miller Chair, Women and Equalities Committee

To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, what estimate the Government has made of the number of women who could be experiencing discrimination at work whilst (a) pregnant, (b) on maternity leave and (c) returning from maternity leave; and what plans the Government has to regularly update those figures.

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

In 2016 EHRC published the findings of a substantial research programme (commissioned jointly with the then Department for Business Innovation and Skills) based on interviews with 3,034 employers and 3,254 mothers. This found that around one in nine mothers reported that they were either dismissed; made compulsorily redundant, where others in their workplace were not; or treated so poorly they felt they had to leave their job.

The next estimate will be in 2020 to allow time for the current package of interventions to take effect. ln the interim Government will monitor others’ findings (such as the recent EHRC poll on employer attitudes) for any signs that the interventions are starting to have an impact or of changes in employers’ practices.

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