Maternity leave sackings are costing British businesses £280m a year, says equality watchdog

Share this page

Written by Mary Isokariari on 31 October 2016 in News
News

British businesses are losing millions of pounds a year as a result of women being pushed out of their jobs after having a baby, reveals new research from the Equality and Human Rights Commission (EHRC).

The costs of hiring and training new staff, redundancy payouts and lost productivity after a woman is forced to leave amounted to £280m annually. However, women were more likely to leave their employer due to negative or possibly discriminatory experiences when they returned to work, rather than when pregnant, or on maternity leave.
 
More News 
 
About 11 per cent of women were pushed out of their jobs following maternity leave – about 54,000 women a year – but only 1 per cent of these have lodged a complaint at an employment tribunal.
 
The survey also found that women were most likely to be financially affected when they felt forced to leave their job at an early stage of their pregnancy, due to loss of earnings.
 
David Isaac, Chair of the Equality and Human Rights Commission, said: “Those who discriminate by forcing working mothers out are shooting themselves in the foot and incurring substantial costs. Today's research underlines that equality of opportunity for working mothers makes good business sense.
 
“The best businesses know already that ending discrimination and unlocking the talent of women in the workplace makes them stronger and more successful. We encourage all businesses to follow their lead by supporting working mothers and showing zero tolerance of discrimination.”
 
In a report earlier this year, the EHRC found that over three-quarters of pregnant women and new mothers – the equivalent of 390,000 women – experience negative and potentially discriminatory treatment at work each year. The research suggested that pregnancy discrimination, which is illegal, has risen significantly since 2005, when 45 per cent of women said they had experienced such treatment.
 
UK companies, although barred from dismissing women for child-related reasons, are able to find other reasons for doing so.​
 
Business Minister Margot James, said: “Not only is discrimination in the workplace illegal, it makes absolutely no business sense, with a significant cost to employers and a devastating impact on the careers of new mothers and pregnant women.
 
“I’d like to thank the Equality and Human Rights Commission for helping to shine a light on this issue which is a key priority of mine. Together we will raise awareness to prove all discrimination is both unacceptable and costly to employers.”
Tags

CONTRIBUTIONS FROM READERS

Please login to post a comment or register for a free account.

Related Articles

16 November 2021

Ramesh Ramani encourages us to develop training strategies that make employees feel valued before it’s too late

12 November 2021

As skills shortages continue to concern organisations Chris Gray, director of ManpowerGroup UK & Ireland talks to TJ about the skills revolution they see happening and offers advice for the...

10 November 2021

The editor’s weekly selection of stories to inspire, educate and inform

Related Sponsored Articles

20 May 2017

Trevor Wheatly discusses how 360° profiling can turn routine appraisals into practical assessments of performance based on the behaviours that matter in business.

8 November 2021

Learning Pool, the global provider of e-learning solutions, has achieved CSR ‘World Leader’ status after winning six awards at the International CSR Excellence Awards; the national campaign to...

10 September 2015

Hurix Systems announced today it has been short-listed for Red Herring's Top 100 Asia award, a prestigious list honoring the year’s most promising private technology ventures in Asia. 

Categories

Tags