Pregnancy and Maternity Discrimination inquiry

24 March 2016

The Women and Equalities Committee is conducting an inquiry to look at the action being taken to address the problem of discrimination faced by pregnant women and new mothers.

Pregnant women and new mothers are more likely to face negative treatment at work than they were a decade ago, according to research published by the Equality and Human Rights Commission (EHRC) and Department for Business, Innovation and Skills (BIS). In response to the report, the Women and Equalities Committee is conducting an inquiry to look at the action being taken to address this growing problem. This inquiry will focus in particular on whether the government proposals are enough, or whether tougher action is required to ensure that pregnant women and mothers are treated fairly.

The EHRC has recommended six areas for action: leadership for change, improving employer practice, improving access to information and advice, improving health and safety management in the workplace, improving access to justice, and monitoring progress.

The Committee is keen to hear from employers, policy organisations, and individual women. This inquiry will focus on solutions, with a particular emphasis on the following areas:

· The likely effectiveness of the government’s proposals for action

· How the government can work with employers to drive behaviour change and improve outcomes for women

· Whether particular groups or types of employers need more support to achieve this;

· How to help women and their employers find the information they need

· What improvements could be brought about by better inter-departmental working in government;

· Whether some areas of existing legislation could be implemented more effectively

· Effectiveness of tribunals as a deterrent, and whether this has been affected by the introduction of fees in 2013

· Health and safety

· Whether increased financial support for small business would help to reduce discrimination

· What can be learned from best practice in the UK and elsewhere

You can find more information here.