Pregnancy & maternity discrimination

If you feel that you have been discriminated against due to pregnancy or maternity, our discrimination specialists would be happy to discuss your case. We appreciate this can be a sensitive issue and offer a range of funding options to help. In some circumstances we may be able to offer a ‘no win no fee arrangement’ to you. For advice call us on 0203 816 9302 and we will be happy to guide you through the process, alternatively please complete our online enquiry form and a member of the team will contact you directly.

Under the Equality Act a woman is protected from unlawful discrimination because of a current pregnancy, or less favourable treatment as a result of that pregnancy or her attempts to assert her rights of maternity within the maternity period of 26 weeks following the birth of her child or children.

There is no need for the woman to compare herself with a male employee in making such a claim for discrimination.

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Discrimination at work

In an employment context the protection afforded by the law to pregnant women extends to protection from less favourable treatment because of pregnancy related illness, (such as morning sickness), by an employer.

Further this also extends to the protection from less favourable treatment by employers due to a woman asserting her right to maternity leave or because she is breast feeding during the maternity period.

When faced with a pregnant employee, an employer must not demote or dismiss an employee, or deny her training or promotion opportunities because she is pregnant or on maternity leave and must not take into account an employee’s period of absence during a pregnancy related illness when making a decision about her employment.

Wider discrimination

In the wider context, protection against pregnancy discrimination is afforded to women in the course of their day to day lives as consumers and service users.

Maternity discrimination is also prohibited and can take place during the 26 weeks after giving birth. Such discrimination can also include the less favourable treatment of a woman within this period because she is breast feeding.

Pregnancy and maternity discrimination is a separate claim to that of sex discrimination and is defined under it’s own section of the Equality Act (s.18).

An employer, public body, service provider or association can be held accountable for the conduct of their employees which gives rise to claims against these businesses or organisations.

If you believe that you have been the victim of discrimination due to your pregnancy and/or maternity and would like to speak to a member of our team call us on 0203 816 9302 or complete our online enquiry form without delay.

Recently settled pregnancy and maternity discrimination claims

  • We recovered compensation for our client who was unable to return to work due to the refusal of her employer to allow flexible working hours following her request prior to her return from maternity leave.
  • We acted for an employee alleging pregnancy discrimination following an incident at work in which she was hospitalised.
  • Our client was dismissed by her employer due to taking absence for pregnancy related medical reasons. We negotiated a favourable settlement within employment tribunal proceedings.
  • Our client was awarded compensation after she was subject to pregnancy discrimination by her employer due to child care arrangement issues.  
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