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Employment lawyer calls for stronger laws to prevent pregnancy discrimination

MP's find a 'shocking' rise in the discrimination suffered by pregnant women in the workplace and calls on Government to do more

31 August 2016

Employment lawyer Kiran Daurka has joined the call for the Government to take urgent action following a parliamentary report on the discrimination of pregnant women in the workplace.

A report by the House of Commons Women and Equalities Committee published today found a “shocking” increase in the discrimination of pregnant women in the workplace over the last 10 years.

The Committee called for stronger rules for employers which would prevent them from making women redundant during and after pregnancy except in exceptional circumstances and a reduction in the £1,200 fee required to take a pregnancy discrimination case to an employment tribunal.

Kiran Daurka, employment and discrimination specialist at Leigh Day said: “Maternity discrimination continues to be a serious problem and very little action is being taken to deal with it.

"The government has remained curiously silent over the issue, in particular in relation to Employment Tribunal fees which clearly have a disparate impact on women with claims for maternity discrimination.

“Many employers fail to see the long-term benefit of allowing women to return to work after maternity leave. This short-sighted attitude is clearly bad for the economy and wastes the talents of experienced women. Urgent action is required.

“It is our view that the law needs to be strengthened to impose a positive duty on employers to provide reasonable accommodation to parents returning to work after a period parental leave.

"We welcome calls to limit redundancy dismissals of women who are on or are returning from maternity leave. And the rights of parents must then be enforceable with proper access to justice which can only be increased with the removal of Employment Tribunal fees.”

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