Businesses must be banned from sacking new mums

21 May 2019
Press Office

Press Office

Member requiring help?
Printable PDF

GMB, the union for working parents, is demanding mothers cannot be sacked from the moment they become pregnant until 12 months after they return to work.

The call comes as Conservative MP Maria Miller calls a discussion on maternity, pregnancy and redundancy in the House of Commons today.

An estimated 390,000 women suffer discrimination or disadvantage every year as a result of pregnancy or maternity leave.

A total of 54,000 women per year are thought to lose their jobs every year due to pregnancy or maternity.

The research showed women were better protected if in a trade union.

GMB is calling for an extension of protection from dismissal from the moment the pregnancy begins – to include those on zero hour’s contracts and agency workers.

Sue Harris, GMB Legal Director, said:

“There are many unscrupulous employers out there who think it is perfectly acceptable to sack pregnant women or new mums – or take every opportunity to force them out of the business.

“It’s disgraceful, frankly. And as a society we shouldn't tolerate this out dated, sexist attitude to women in the workplace.

“Research shows a startling attitude amongst employers to women returning from mat leave.

“More than a quarter of employers said pregnancy put an unreasonable cost burden on their business and nearly the same percentage said women returning from mat leave weren't as interested in career progression now they had children.

“What outrageous nonsense - and why don't employers hold similar views about men who have become parents? 

“We are calling on the government to strengthen our laws to protect women in the workplace and we call on employers to recognise the talents of the women they employ who also happen to be carers.”  

Related news

Join us and become a GMB member today.
Join today!