23 July 2015
A report published by the Equality and Human Rights commission has found that women are more likely to face discrimination on returning to work after maternity leave than they were a decade ago.
The research was conducted on behalf of the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills. It draws on interviews with 3,034 employers and 3,254 mothers. The report covers issues concerning employers managing of employees pregnancy, maternity leave and mothers treatment upon returning to work.
In Pregnancy and Maternity-Related Discrimination and Disadvantage, the researchers estimate that around 54,000 new mothers are losing their jobs across Britain every year. In 2005, the figure was only around half that.
The report also found that around 10 percent of women were discouraged from taking time off work to attend medical appointments by their employer. One in five new mothers faces harassment from colleagues or management on returning to work, 7 percent were under pressure to hand in their notice, and one in 20 received a pay cut or loss of bonus. Around 50 percent felt their opportunities had been cut.
Caroline Waters, deputy chair of the EHRC, said the report shows the “worrying levels of discrimination and disadvantage at work that women still face”.