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 The core provisions of the Equality Act 2010, which repealed the Sex Discrimination Act 1975, came into force on 1 October 2010.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.


Five lesser known maternity rights women must be aware of

With statistics suggesting autumn is the most popular season to give birth, Beverley Sunderland clarifies some lesser known maternity rights...

Women facing routine workplace bias; warning issued on rights after Brexit

23 Jul 2018

Survey figures released last week indicate that women are routinely discriminated against at small and medium-sized businesses in the UK...

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Most employers say applicants should disclose pregnancy

19 Feb 2018

Six in 10 employers (59%) believe a woman should have to reveal she is pregnant during the recruitment process, according...

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More protection needed against sexual harassment by third parties

23 Jan 2018

The law should be strengthened to protect women from sexual harassment by third parties, as well as colleagues, a gender...

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Pregnant women and new mothers need more legal protection

7 Nov 2017

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

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HR horrors: How to flee four frightening scenarios

31 Oct 2017

Halloween is upon us, but what are the most common HR horrors and how should employers deal with them? Alexandra...

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Five tribunal claims that will increase in post-fees era

30 Aug 2017

Following last month’s decision of the Supreme Court declaring that employment tribunal fees were unlawful, the number of tribunal claims...

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Short-term sickness absence policy: a 15-step guide for HR

3 May 2017

Putting together a short-term sickness absence policy can be one of the most daunting tasks an HR professional can face....

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

3 May 2017

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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Seven facts about employment law in China

27 Jan 2017

What is the Chinese statutory public holiday entitlement for employees? Do employers have to pay a premium for working during...

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Government to consult on proposals to stop pregnant women losing jobs

26 Jan 2017

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

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top-employment-cases-2016

The 10 most important employment law cases in 2016

30 Nov 2016

What were the most significant employment case law decisions in 2016? Stephen Simpson counts down the 10 most important judgments...

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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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indirect-sex-discrimination-easyjet

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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maternity-discrimination

“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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