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Latest News & Articles | Don`t Discriminate When It Comes To Pregnancy & Maternity

Don`t Discriminate When It Comes To Pregnancy & Maternity

Friday, June 1st 2018 11:57am

There has been a rather disturbing survey shared by the Equality and Human Rights Commission recently which portrays many employers as still living in the 1970`s. The survey of more than 1,100 private sector employers revealed that over a third of these employers thought it reasonable to ask female candidates during the interview process whether they were planning to have children and 60% thought that they should disclose that they were pregnant to them if that were the case.


Equality Act 2010 Protects Pregnant Women Against Discrimination


Discrimination At Work Due To PregnancyEvery employer and company should know by now that pregnancy and maternity is what is known as a `protected characteristic` under the Equality Act of 2010. If an employer directly discriminates against an employee because of her pregnancy or due to her requiring maternity leave then they are treating them unlawfully and can expect to end up in front of a tribunal.

If a woman is treated unfavourably because of pregnancy or maternity leave this automatically can be classed as discrimination, there can be no excuses for this kind of discriminatory behaviour from their employer. So questions in a job interview such as whether a female candidate has children, is pregnant or plans to have children amount to direct sex discrimination. And if an employer fails to offer a job to a female because she is pregnant this is of course direct pregnancy discrimination.

Employers Should Not Be Swayed


So employers should very much steer clear of asking any questions over children, pregnancy or future plans regarding children during the recruitment process, but if a candidate volunteers such information they should ensure that they are not influenced by this deciding about her suitability for the post.

If you are an employer, or an employee, and you want help and advice on an employment law related matter, please call us at our offices in the first instance on 028 3752 5999 and we will be glad to assist you.

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