Pregnant Then Screwed has been granted leave to appeal a case that the Government’s Covid support scheme for the self employed discriminates against mums.
A leading maternity campaigner has been granted permission to appeal a case that the Government’s Self Employment Income Support Scheme indirectly discriminates against women.
Pregnant Then Screwed’s case, represented by legal firm Leigh Day, argues that the SEISS discriminates against self-employed women who have taken maternity leave between 2016 and 2019 because periods of maternity leave during that time are not exempt from the earnings calculation, meaning new mothers receive a lower payment.
In February the court ruled against Pregnant Then Screwed. However, Pregnant then Screwed are appealing the case on three grounds: 1) That the Court erred in concluding that there was no indirect discrimination against women who had not worked for reasons relating to pregnancy or maternity. 2) That the Court erred in failing to consider whether there was a failure to treat differently persons whose situations are significantly different. 3) That there was an overly broad approach to justification by the Court in its ruling.
Pregnant Then Screwed has been granted the right to appeal on all three grounds. The appeal is being funded by the public and is supported by the Musicians and Community Union.
Joeli Brearley, CEO and Founder of Pregnant Then Screwed, said: ”So many women, organisations and even politicians were outraged at the outcome of the verdict in February. Going to appeal isn’t a decision that we have taken lightly, but to allow what we see as such public discrimination to go undisputed just isn’t an option. The Government has a legal obligation to ensure none of their schemes have a disproportionate impact on anyone with a protected characteristic – the fact that women who have taken a period of maternity leave to do the most important job in the world – raising the next generation – are then subject to a lower payment is quite clearly discrimination and we hope the court of appeal will recognise this.”