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A quarter of mothers have felt discriminated against at work

Matt McAllister

One in four (25%) working mothers have faced discrimination at work, according to research by the legal firm Slater & Gordon

Of these, almost half (48%) said they had been overlooked for a promotion, while 35% added that their employers had taken responsibilities away from them. This is despite the fact that 35% of interviewees thought they had actually worked harder since having children.

An even greater number of respondents claimed that the atmosphere at work had altered since they became pregnant, with over half (51%) saying their colleagues’ attitudes had changed.

While employment minister Jo Swinson pointed out that pregnancy discrimination is illegal and any employer who engages in it “could result in an employer in front of an Employment Tribunal”, the vast majority (70%) of respondents who had experienced discrimination said they hadn’t made a formal complaint about unfair treatment.

Commenting on the research, Kiran Daurka, a lawyer at Slater & Gordon, said: “Despite the equality legislation in place, attitudes and working practices continue to block women in achieving their career aspirations in the UK. This report shows that there are still negative perceptions of women with children and this kind of attitude is short-sighted and bad for business.”
Over half (54%) of the working mothers interviewed for the survey said they thought their employer could do more to support working mothers.

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