Thousands claim each year over pregnancy sackings

More
than 1,000 women take legal action every year claiming they were sacked simply
for being pregnant, according to new research.

The
Equal Opportunities Commission (EOC) said pregnant women faced pay cuts,
demotion, hostile treatment and unsafe working conditions, and a report by the
Equal Opportunities Review (EOR) has revealed half the cases put before
employment tribunals last year were related to pregnancy and childcare issues.

One
in four women who made an employment tribunal claim had been sacked within
hours or days of announcing they were having a baby. One woman interviewed by
the EOC said that after she announced her pregnancy, her manager told her:
"You silly girl. Have you considered an abortion?"

Women
now make up almost half of the workforce, and about 350,000 working women
become pregnant every year.

The
EOC said the report, which was published to mark National Pregnancy Week,
showed there are "huge holes" in many people’s understanding of the
law.

It
is calling for the Government to offer more support to employers and families,
and to ensure that the law is properly followed.

By Mike Berry 

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