Free Legal Advice for Employees and Employers on Pregnancy and Maternity Rights At Work 2021

Published: 17 Feb 2021

Martin Searle Solicitors Launch their Pregnancy and Maternity Discrimination Campaign ‘Mind the Bump 2021’.

Martin Searle Solicitors launch their 16th annual campaign to stamp out pregnancy and maternity discrimination at work. Pregnancy and maternity discrimination in the workplace was a problem prior to Lockdown 1. Unfortunately, the Coronavirus pandemic appears to have exacerbated this worrying trend.

A TUC study carried out in June 2020 found that 1 in 4 pregnant women and new mothers had experienced unfair treatment or discrimination in work since the pandemic began. A PwC study from May 2020 found that 78% of those who had already lost their jobs as a result of the pandemic were women.

This year International Women’s Day falls on 8 March 2021 which focuses on #ChooseToChallenge.  Access to legal advice and representation is crucial in being able to challenge and Martin Searle Solicitors will be offering a free 30-minute telephone advice service for employers and employees concerned about the workplace rights of pregnant women and women on maternity leave. 

Fiona Martin, Director and Head of Employment Law, says: “Pregnancy and maternity discrimination in the workplace continues to be a growing issue. During the first lockdown we were approached by numerous women who had been unfairly dismissed because of their pregnancy or were being unfairly selected for redundancy as they tried to return to work after their maternity leave. It is ever more important that we continue to educate and support employers while advising employees of their rights,so that we stamp out pregnancy and maternity discrimination once and for all.”

Fiona continues: “The two most common scenarios are when a woman tells her employer she is pregnant and the employer wrongly believes that they can dismiss as she does not have two years’ service. The other concerns women who are due to return from maternity leave and belatedly find out that their job has ‘disappeared’. We help women raise grievances and negotiate compensation through Settlement Agreements, to avoid lengthy, stressful and expensive Tribunal claims.”

Fiona says “We need to cultivate a healthy workplace culture in the UK where taking time off to have children is not seen as a lack of commitment. #ChooseToChallenge is an opportunity to highlight this type of gender inequality in our workplaces.”

To support their campaign, Martin Searle Solicitors have produced a series of factsheets, case studies and FAQs for employers and employees covering basic pregnancy and maternity rights in the workplace, returning to work after maternity, as well as avoiding pregnancy and discrimination in redundancy processes. For more details visit www.ms-solicitors.co.uk.

On Thursday 18 March, from 1pm – 2pm, we will be running a free virtual seminar on ‘Pregnancy and Maternity Leave - Best Practice for Employers’. To book, click here

For confidential advice, employers and employees can call Martin Searle Solicitors’ free pregnancy and maternity legal helpline on Tuesdays and Thursdays throughout March from 3.30pm to 5.30pm on 01273 609911, or email info@ms-solicitors.co.uk.

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