Tens of thousands of mothers forced out of work in UK

Workforce discrimination remains a major problem for British business

As many as 54,000 new mothers could be losing their jobs every year as a result of having children, according to a report by the Equality and Human Rights Commission.

The report highlights the high level of discrimination in the British workforce.

Over 3,000 new mothers and over 3,000 businesses were surveyed as part of an investigation into the prevalence and nature of pregnancy discrimination in the workplace.

According to the report, “around one in nine mothers (11%) reported that they were either dismissed; made compulsorily redundant, where others in their workplace were not; or treated so poorly they felt they had to leave their job.”

If the findings are scaled up, it would mean about 54,000 mothers a year were losing their job.

The investigation also found that  one in five mothers said they had “experienced harassment or negative comments related to pregnancy or flexible working from their employer and/or colleagues”.

Caroline Waters, deputy chair of the Equality and Human Rights Commission, said the investigation reveals “the worrying levels of discrimination and disadvantage at work that women still face today”.

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Readers' comments (1)

  • Somehow I really doubt most of the figures and certainly extrapolating the figures is just wrong. Why? Very simply the penalties and risks to an employer of dealing unfairly with a pregnant/maternity leave are just so high. Being pregnant puts you in a nearly 'bullet proof' position as far as job security is concerned.

    Although I can believe the figures about colleagues being none too pleased as very often they have to pick up the slack or get chosen for redundancy over a woman who is pregnant/on maternity leave. At the end of the day fellow employees are only human, so you can see their viewpoint (rightly or wrongly).

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