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Pregnant women and workplace discrimination

New research has found that one in four pregnant women have faced workplace discrimination during the pandemic.

A survey of 3,400 women carried out by the Trades union Congress (TUC) suggests that those on maternity leave or pregnant have been singled out for furlough or redundancy. Some pregnant women told the TUC that because their employer did not act to make their workplace safe for them, they had to take sick leave (when they were not sick), take unpaid leave or start their maternity leave early.

It is illegal for anyone to discriminate against you at work. Discrimination is unacceptable and can be extremely emotional and frustrating.

If you feel you are being negatively targeted and your concerns are not being listened to, you may have a case for unlawful discrimination. Unlawful discrimination is when you are being treated differently or less favourably at work for a variety of reasons which also include pregnancy, maternity of other parenting leave.

The Government has recently announced that those on statutory maternity and paternity leave who return to work in the next few months will be eligible for the furlough scheme after today (10th June).  Today is the deadline for employers to place new staff on furlough on the “old scheme”.  

Chancellor Rishi Sunak said, when he announced changes to the furlough scheme last month, it was "clear we wanted to do this in a fair way" that supported people back to work. He said: "But for parents returning from leave, their circumstances have meant that they are still in need of support, and I’m pleased that they will be able to receive the financial assistance they and their family will need." Further details of the change are set to be published on 12 June.

If you are unhappy about your treatment at work during coronavirus or would like information on your legal entitlements, call our specialist employment solicitor Lisa Aitken who can discuss your circumstances and options available to you.  We are here to help you get what you are entitled to.

Full details of the latest guidance can be found here

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