Pregnancy Discrimination

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Pregnancy Discrimination: Laws that Protect Pregnant Employees from Discrimination in the Workplace


To treat a woman unfavourably because of her pregnancy or pregnancy-related illness

Pregnancy is a special time in a woman’s life, but it can also be a time of vulnerability, especially in the workplace. Pregnant employees often face discrimination through unequal treatment, harassment, and even dismissal. This article aims to provide a comprehensive understanding of pregnancy discrimination in the UK, its impact on pregnant employees, and the laws that protect them in the workplace.

What is Pregnancy Discrimination?

Pregnancy discrimination occurs when an employer treats a woman unfairly due to her pregnancy, childbirth, or a related medical condition. This form of discrimination is prohibited by UK law and can take various forms, such as withholding promotions, reducing hours, or dismissing the employee.

The Impact of Pregnancy Discrimination on Pregnant Employees

Pregnancy discrimination can have a significant impact on pregnant employees, both physically and mentally. Pregnant employees who are subjected to discrimination may experience stress, anxiety, and depression, which can harm both their physical and mental health.

Moreover, pregnancy discrimination can lead to economic instability, as pregnant employees may lose their jobs or be denied opportunities for advancement. This affects the individual and their families, who may rely on their income to make ends meet.

The Laws That Protect Pregnant Employees from Discrimination in the Workplace

Pregnant employees are protected by various UK laws that prohibit pregnancy discrimination. These laws include:

The Equality Act 2010

The Equality Act 2010 is the primary UK law that prohibits discrimination, including pregnancy discrimination. Under the act, employers cannot discriminate against an employee or job applicant due to their pregnancy, childbirth, or related medical conditions.

The Maternity and Parental Leave Regulations, 2019

The Maternity and Parental Leave Regulations 2019 provide eligible employees with the right to take up to 52 weeks of maternity leave, including up to 39 weeks of statutory maternity pay. This law also provides job protection for employees who take maternity leave.

The Work and Families Act 2006

The Work and Families Act 2006 allows eligible employees to request flexible working arrangements, such as reduced hours or working from home. This law aims to help employees balance their work and family responsibilities, including those related to pregnancy and childbirth.


Claim Compensation for Pregnancy Discrimination Now

If you feel you have been discriminated against because of your pregnancy, you may be eligible to claim compensation.


How to Protect Yourself from Pregnancy Discrimination in the Workplace

To protect yourself from pregnancy discrimination in the workplace, you can take the following steps:

Know your rights: Familiarise yourself with the UK laws and regulations that protect pregnant employees from discrimination in the workplace.

  1. Speak up: If you experience pregnancy discrimination, report it to your employer’s HR department or a supervisor.
  2. Keep a record: Keep a detailed record of any incidents of discrimination, including dates, times, and witnesses.
  3. Seek legal advice: If you believe you have been discriminated against, consider consulting with an employment Solicitor like Lexadeen to discuss your legal options.

In Conclusion

Pregnancy discrimination is a serious issue that can have far-reaching consequences for pregnant employees and their families. However, pregnant employees are protected by various UK laws that prohibit pregnancy discrimination and provide remedies for those who have been mistreated in the workplace. Understanding your rights and taking proactive steps to protect yourself can help ensure a safe and supportive work environment for yourself and other pregnant employees.

Do you need the advice and guidance of a maternity discrimination solicitor?

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