MPs demand more protection for women against pregnancy discrimination
The Women and Equalities Committee has called for a German-style system to protect women from redundancy
Image credit: Press Association
Urgent protection is needed to tackle the “shocking” discrimination against new and expectant mothers at work, MPs have said.
According to the House of Commons Women and Equalities Committee the number of expectant mothers forced to leave their jobs has almost doubled to 54,000 since 2005.
The committee called for a German-style system, which protects women from redundancy during and after pregnancy.
German firms can only make pregnant women or those who gave birth within four months redundant in extremely restricted circumstances, and only with government approval.
UK companies, although barred from dismissing women for child-related reasons, are able to find other reasons for doing so.
The report also demanded more protections for casual, agency and zero-hours contract workers and a “substantial” fee reduction in taking pregnancy-related discrimination cases to tribunal.
"There are now record numbers of women in work in the UK," committee chair Maria Miller said in a statement.
"The economy will suffer unless employers modernise their workplace practices to ensure effective support and protection for expectant and new mums."
The UK Government said it would consider the recommendations.
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