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New Guidance Issued To Prevent Pregnancy And Maternity Discrimination

December 11th, 2017

As a manager, making sure you stay within employment law when dealing with an employee who’s pregnant or who has recently had a baby can be a challenge.

In fact, Acas revealed that it experienced a nearly ten per cent increase in the number of calls it received about pregnancy and maternity issues last year, compared to 2015. As a result, the organisation issued new guidance on preventing pregnancy and maternity discrimination last month.

The advice covers compliance with the Equality Act, which makes it unlawful to treat someone unfairly or discriminate against them during pregnancy or maternity.

Guidance includes ensuring that any pregnancy-related absences are not included on an employee’s absence record, and making sure that any employees on maternity leave are made aware of promotion and training opportunities.

Julie Dennis, head of diversity and inclusion at Acas, said that most employers treat their workers fairly, but warned those who don’t that they could find themselves in court.

“This new guidance can help managers deal fairly with women at work in areas such as recruitment, promotion and redundancy,” she stated.

Redundancy is a tricky issue before you throw pregnancy or maternity leave into the mix. Last month, two experts told Real Business that the best way to make sure you carry out redundancy proceedings in the right way is to leave enough time.

Barrister Tilly Harries and solicitor James Buckley, both of PwC, explained that businesses planning to make redundancies need to have a plan, not rush, and keep lines of communication open with employees and their representatives.

If you think you were treated unfairly while on maternity leave, contact our discrimination solicitors today.


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