The CSP has called for action to improve the rights of pregnant women and new mothers at work.
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In particular, the society wants women to have time to access NHS antenatal care and be able to make a positive return to work after maternity leave.
Speaking in support of a motion at the TUC congress in Brighton on 15 September, CSP delegate Mel Stewart referred to damning Equality and Human Rights Commission research, published in July.
‘The stark facts are that about 54,000 new mothers may be forced out of their jobs in Britain each year,’ Ms Stewart said.
‘It seems incredible that so many employers still do not realise that not only is pregnancy discrimination illegal, but it is bad for business.’
Ms Stewart said new mothers who experienced unfair treatment at work faced obstacles in accessing justice. This has been the case since the government introduced fees of up to £1,200 in England, Scotland and Wales for those taking cases to employment tribunals, she told delegates.
The motion, which was passed, gave examples of the types of discrimination faced by women returning to work after maternity leave. These included employers adopting hostile or negative attitudes to requests for amended hours and work arrangements.
‘It’s time the government took action to end this appalling and widespread mistreatment of women,’ said Ms Stewart. ‘All we are asking for is fairness.’
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