A new report commissioned by the Equality and Human Rights Commission has thrown up some worrying statistics for working mothers.
According to the survey, three in four working mothers say they have experienced discrimination from their employer relating to their pregnancy or maternity leave.
Furthermore, one in nine mothers (11%) reported that they were dismissed, made redundant (compulsory redundancy) or forced to leave their job. If this sample is projected to the general population that could mean that 54,000 mothers are forced to leave work each year due to pregnancy or maternity discrimination.
One in five mothers also reported that they had experienced harassment or negative comments relating to pregnancy or flexible working from their employer and /or colleagues.
Despite these worrying figures, the majority of employers questioned reported that it was in their interests to support pregnant women and those on maternity leave. They also stated that statutory rights relating to pregnancy and maternity are reasonable and easy to implement.
There was some good news for working mothers seeking flexible working hours. The report shows that over two thirds of mothers (68%) submitted a flexible working request and roughly three in four of these had their request approved.
If you’re worried that you might be affected by the issues raised in this story, there is help and support available for employers and employees, here: www.equalityhumanrights.com