More than four-fifths of UK HR professionals say their bosses automatically think twice before employing women of ‘childbearing age’, according to a survey.
The online poll of 110 HR professionals by Croner consulting, reinforces the results of an Equal Opportunities Commission (EOC) report. It found that employers are discriminating against pregnant staff, and shows that discrimination may even begin before a woman becomes pregnant.
Richard Smith, HR expert at Croner, said: “It is unlawful sex discrimination to refuse to interview or employ a woman because she is, or is suspected of being pregnant. This also applies to women of childbearing age, since this is not something related to the ability to do the job.”
“Employers should steer clear during an interview of asking when a woman plans to start a family,” he added. “This has nothing to do with her role as an employee and could be used as tribunal evidence for sex discrimination.
“The law is very clear: It is unlawful sex discrimination to take into consideration factors relating to gender when recruiting staff.”