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WTUC 2014: CSP leads call to fight pregnancy discrimination

20 March 2014 - 11:20am

The CSP led a motion at the TUC women’s conference on pregnancy discrimination, highlighting how the recession and spending cuts are leading to women losing their jobs. They were also experiencing discrimination because of pregnancy, it said.

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CSP delegate Louise Wright. Photo: Jenina Struk

The motion, moved by Welsh regional steward Louise Wright, called for affiliates to campaign for better maternity rights and lobby against pregnancy discrimination.

Ms Wright said pregnant women and new mothers were among the worst hit by the austerity measures and about 60,000 women a year lose their jobs due to pregnancy.

‘Advice agencies are reporting increased demand for help in dealing with pregnancy related problems at work with the volume of advice calls more than doubling,’ she said, adding that the government had stripped away women’s rights to fight discrimination by introducing £1,200 fees for employment tribunals.

‘In recent months my own union, the CSP, has supported women in just these situations,’ said Ms Wright. She said that one member who, despite having worked for her employer for eight years, had her request to return from maternity leave on a part-time basis refused.

‘The woman faced a hostile and intimidating response from her employer. All they were prepared to offer her was a demotion two grades below the job she had been doing. This would have meant a pay cut of £12,000 a year. Needless to say she won’t be returning to that employer,’ said Ms Wright.

She called for the conference to back the affiliated ‘Valuing Maternity’ campaign, led by charity Maternity Action.

The motion was unanimously carried.

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