23rd February 2018
No, we can’t quite believe it either…yet another damning set of statistics have come to light, demonstrating extremely worrying (and illegal) attitudes towards women in the workplace. We’re not even 2 months into 2018 and this is already the second time we’ve had to address this on our blog!
So, what’s happened this time? The Equality and Human Rights Commission (EHRC) had a YouGov survey conducted on behalf of them to understand managers’ attitudes towards pregnancy and maternity discrimination. 1,106 senior decision makers were surveyed, and the main findings left much to be desired:
- 36% of private sector employers believe that during the recruitment process it is fair to ask women if they have any plans to have children one day
- 59% said that women should have to disclose if they are currently pregnant during the recruitment process
- 46% believe it is fair to ask women if they have young children during the recruitment process
- 44% said that women should work for an organisation for at least a year before they decide to have children
- 44% said that women who have had more than one pregnancy during their time at one job can be a ‘burden’ to their team
- 40% of employers claim that they have seen one or more pregnant women ‘take advantage’ of their pregnancy in the workplace
- 33% believe that women who are pregnant or new mothers are ‘less interested in career progression’
- 41% said that pregnancy in the workplace adds an ‘unnecessary cost burden’ to the organisation
There is quite clearly an enormous problem here. This is no longer happening behind the scenes; hundreds of members of senior management have admitted their prejudices, their unsupportive outlook and their discriminatory views towards pregnant women and/or mothers in the workplace. Urgent action is needed to educate senior managers and provide them with the tools needed to avoid this discrimination and ultimately protect a business from legal action, reputational damage and loss of exceptional staff.
Help is at hand
Dealing with expectant mothers should be a priority for any business. How you treat one individual may well affect motivation and morale amongst your entire workforce.
There is a wealth of information available online so that you can fully understand and respect the employment law that backs expectant mothers. We also recently shared a free short guide to avoiding pregnancy and maternity discrimination in your company so that you can get this right.
Having the spare time to ensure expectant mothers are protected is often cited as a key issue for hard pressed HR teams. However don’t underestimate the power of excellent HR management software. It allows you to take care of the administrative, bureaucratic side of human resources quickly, easily and comprehensively, leaving you as the employer free to focus on the most important element of your business: your employees.