As if bringing a new life into the world isn’t enough, new or expecting mothers often face discrimination in the workplace and are sometimes made redundant in response to the news.
In order to tackle this, the government is proposing a “zero tolerance” approach to such practices, and ministers will now have a consultation on the matter.
After a call for action from the House of Commons women and equalities committee, business minister Margot James has promised a discussion on how better to protect women from losing their jobs after becoming parents.
According to the Guardian, the department said it was “appalling that some new and expectant mothers feel alienated and discriminated against in the workplace”.
Maria Miller, chair of the women and equalities committee, welcomed the idea but also urged the government to be more specific about what action they want to be taken, and to consider in particular ideas that have been proposed by MPs.
“This response is a missed opportunity for the government to demonstrate the urgency and bite on this issue that we found lacking when we published our report in August,” Miller said.
“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.”
The committee’s called for a system similar to that in Germany, where employers are banned from making women redundant during or after a pregnancy (other than in specific circumstances).
They also called for an overhaul of the employment tribunal system.
For new and expectant mothers to feel they have more job security would make a world of difference – how do you think they should be protected? Tweet us at @YahooStyleUK.