If someone treats you unfairly because you’re pregnant, breastfeeding or because you’ve recently given birth, you may have been discriminated against. The Equality Act 2010 calls this pregnancy and maternity discrimination. If you’ve been discriminated against, you may be able to do something about it.
Your rights during pregnancy:
– You have the right to health and safety protection for you and your baby.
– You have the right to reasonable paid time off for your antenatal care.
– You are protected against unfair treatment and unfair dismissal because of your pregnancy.
All employees have the right to 52 weeks maternity leave, and you may qualify for maternity pay.
The law says that it is pregnancy discrimination to treat a woman unfavourably because of her pregnancy or pregnancy-related illness.
Examples of pregnancy discrimination could include:
•selection for redundancy because of your pregnancy or pregnancy-related illness,
•refusing to extend your contract during or after a probation period,
•dismissal because of pregnancy or non-renewal of a fixed-term contract,
•refusal of a job offers, training or promotion opportunities,
•reduction in pay or hours,
•pressure to resign, and
•failure to remove risks at work and take action to protect your health and safety during pregnancy.
To show pregnancy/maternity discrimination you do not have to compare yourself to a man or a woman who is not pregnant, but you need to show that the treatment was because of your pregnancy or absence on maternity leave.
All employees, casual workers, agency workers, freelancers and contractors are protected against pregnancy and maternity discrimination from day one of your employment.
If you feel you have been discriminated against, please contact ELREC for support and advice.