20.06.2014

Can i be made redundant pregnant

While it can undoubtedly be a bit scary, particularly first time round, pregnancy is usually a period of great joy for families. A recent comprehensive study has found, however, that both pregnancy and maternity are also times when women can face increased discrimination in the workplace. The study of more than 3,200 women, which was conducted by the Equality and Human Rights Commission in the UK, found that 11 per cent of the women interviewed reported having been dismissed, made compulsorily redundant where others were not, or treated so poorly that they felt they had little choice but to leave their jobs. Research shows that employers across a range of industry sectors believe they are firm supporters of women both during their pregnancies and on their return to work. According to the report, one in five new mothers say they experienced harassment or negative comments from their colleagues, employer or manager when pregnant or returning from maternity leave.


The study also shows that 10 per cent of pregnant women were discouraged from attending antenatal appointments, while 9 per cent said they were treated worse by their employer once they came back to the workplace after their pregnancy, and 7 per cent said they were put under pressure to hand in their notice. The only comprehensive major study of its kind carried out here is Pregnancy At Work: A National Survey, which was undertaken by the Economic and Social Research Institute (ESRI) and published in 2011.
Economic downturn Worse yet, 5 per cent of women employed during their pregnancy said they were dismissed, made redundant or treated so badly that they had to leave. Mr Walshe warns that employers need to be smart about looking after employees who are either pregnant or coming back to work. It interviewed 2,300 women whose youngest child was born between July 2007 and June 2009 and found that 30 per cent of those who worked while pregnant experienced discrimination.


Michelle, (not her real name) who lives outside of Dublin and works in marketing and public relations, was made redundant from a previous job when she was six months pregnant.



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