Are New Mums Discriminated Against in the Workplace?

Are New Mums Discriminated Against in the Workplace?

More than 1 in 2 pregnant women and mothers feel they are discriminated against when it comes to climbing the career ladder and pay rises, according to a recent survey by The Mummy MOT.

84% of women become pregnant during their lifetimes, meaning women are more than likely to fall pregnant during pivotal times in their career.

Maria Elliot, physiotherapist and founder of The Mummy MOT says that most women don’t want to discuss postnatal issues with their employer and even avoid going back to work. Yet, mothers with young children are now more likely to go back to or begin full-time work compared to those 20 years ago.

The survey revealed that 60% of women feel that they are being treated differently since becoming pregnant or returning to work and in some cases are pushed out of their jobs.

“Three in four women mothers experience some form of maternity or pregnancy discrimination each year” – Scarlett Harris, Maternity Action

But, returning to work is not an option for some mums. One in five mothers cited childcare costs as a reason for becoming a stay-at-home mum. Yet, 44% of new mums returned to work for financial reasons.

The UK ranks in the bottom 10 worst countries for maternity leave!

In the UK, mothers are offered just six weeks’ parental leave at 90% pay, and a further 33 weeks at a lower rate. To make it even harder for new mums, British parents pay some of the highest childcare rates in the world.

MP Stella Creasy has spoken in parliament about the difficulties women face; women are taxed for having periods, bear the brunt of contraception side effects and then risk stagnating their career when they have a baby.

Key highlights from the survey:

  • 45% of mothers would like better-paid maternity leave
  • 28% of women don’t feel supported by their employer if they plan to extend their family
  • 75% of women would like to see flexible and/or compressed hours offered by their employer, as well as the option to work from home
  • 42% of women do not feel their emotional and physical needs are being met by their employer since becoming a mother

What are your thoughts? Should employers improve conditions for new mums? Have you been discriminated against in the workplace?

Let us know in the comments below or over on Twitter.

18 July 2019
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