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A law firm has launched a Pregnancy and Maternity Discrimination Campaign ‘Mind the Bump 2015’ in response to the Equality & Human Rights Commission’s recent report which suggests around 54,000 new mothers may be forced out of their job in Britain each year.
Martin Searle Solicitors’ campaign includes a free telephone advice service for employers and employees concerned about the workplace rights of pregnant women and women on maternity leave.
Fiona Martin, Head of Employment Law at Martin Searle Solicitors, says: “Our first pregnancy and maternity discrimination campaign in 2005 was a result of the Equal Opportunities Commission’s research that estimated 30,000 mothers (7%) were forced out of their jobs each year. The latest research from the Equality & Human Rights Commission suggests that around 54,000 new mothers may be forced out of their jobs in Britain each year.
“This shows that despite our and other organisations campaigning to prevent pregnancy and maternity discrimination in the workplace, this continues to be a major problem and blights the careers of many women. We are still encountering pregnancy and maternity discrimination on a weekly basis.”
Throughout October expert employment lawyers will be available on Tuesdays and Thursdays from 4pm to 6pm to provide 30 minutes free advice for anyone concerned about pregnancy and maternity rights and responsibilities, maternity leave and return to work issues.
Fiona adds: “Equality in the workplace underpins good employment relations and ensures fairness. Employment legislation is there to prevent negative behaviour towards pregnant women and provide a level playing field. Unfortunately, too many employers are paying the price for ignoring the law.”
The helpline number is 01273 609911, or the firm can be emailed on firstname.lastname@example.org.
To support the campaign, Martin Searle Solicitors have also 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 discrimination in a redundancy process. For more details visit www.ms-solicitors.co.uk.