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Pregnancy viewed as a “burden” in the workplace

Many British employers have worrying attitudes towards unlawful behaviour when it comes to recruiting women, says the Equality and Human Rights Commission (EHRC).

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A survey conducted by YouGov on behalf of EHRC was commissioned to understand managers’ attitudes around pregnancy and maternity discrimination - more than 1,100 senior decision makers in business were surveyed.


Nearly 60 percent (59) of respondents agreed that a woman should have to disclose whether she is pregnant during the recruitment process.


Of respondents, 44 percent said employers agree that women should work at an organisation for at least a year before deciding to have children. The same percentage of respondents said those who have had more than one pregnancy in their job can be a ‘burden’ to their team.


More than 40 percent (41) said employers agreed that pregnancy in the workplace puts ‘an unnecessary cost burden’ on the workplace.


A third of respondents also said employers believe that women who become pregnant, and new mothers, in work are ‘generally less interested in career progression’ when compared to other employees in their company.


The EHRC is calling on employers to put a stake in the ground to eliminate these attitudes and, more importantly, pregnancy and maternity discrimination in the workplace for good.


The Working Forward campaign asks businesses to commit to taking action on at least two of the three action areas in addition to leadership: Employee confidence, supporting line managers and flexible working. It also provides employers with advice, guidance and resources to deliver on their pledges.

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