Pregnancy and maternity discrimination

The law relating to pregnancy and maternity discrimination is governed by the Equality Act 2010. The core provisions of the Equality Act 2010, which repealed the Sex Discrimination Act 1975, came into force on 1 October 2010. While the Equality Act 2010 largely consolidated previous discrimination legislation, it also designated pregnancy and maternity as a protected characteristic in its own right.

The Equality Act 2010 specifically protects women against direct discrimination and victimisation because of the protected characteristic of pregnancy and maternity. While there are no specific provisions in the Equality Act 2010 for indirect discrimination and harassment in relation to pregnancy and maternity, a woman can claim sex discrimination in these cases. For example, many indirect sex discrimination cases are connected with the refusal of employers to allow women returning from maternity leave to work part time.


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Pregnant women and new mothers need more legal protection

A charity has called for greater legal protections for new mothers, claiming the Government has failed to act on the...

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Long-term sickness absence policy: a 16-step guide for HR

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A watertight long-term sickness absence policy can give employees who are off work for an extended period the best chance...

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Government to consult on proposals to stop pregnant women losing jobs

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The Government has pledged to ensure that pregnant women and new mothers are sufficiently protected from redundancy.
Business minister Margot...

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Tribunals accept limits to flexible working after maternity leave

17 Oct 2016

In two recent unsuccessful cases, employment tribunals accepted that there is no absolute obligation on employers to accept new mothers’...

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EasyJet flight attendants win right to express milk

30 Sep 2016

Two easyJet flight attendants have won the right to express milk for their children while working, in a landmark indirect...

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“Urgent action” needed to stop maternity discrimination

31 Aug 2016

The Women and Equalities Committee has called for “urgent action” to stop discrimination against new and expectant mothers at work....

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Workplace maternity discrimination: 10 common scenarios in tribunals

23 Aug 2016

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5 Aug 2016

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Five important employment law cases in 2016… and five more to come

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MPs reported on the introduction of fees in civil courts and employment tribunals. Photo: High Level Photography/REX/Shutterstock

MPs recommend substantial cut to employment tribunal fees

20 Jun 2016

A committee of MPs has concluded that the introduction of employment tribunal fees has had a “significant adverse impact” on...

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