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Pregnancy and Maternity-Related Discrimination and Disadvantage: Summary of Key Findings

The Department for Business, Innovation and Skills (BIS) and the Equality and Human Rights Commission (EHRC) commissioned a programme of research to investigate the prevalence and nature of pregnancy and maternity-related discrimination and disadvantage in the workplace. The results in this report are based on survey interviews with 3,254 mothers and 3,034 employers. The two surveys cover the views and experiences of employers and mothers on a range of issues related to managing pregnancy, maternity leave and mothers returning to work from maternity leave. The survey findings are based on employers’ and mothers’ perceptions of their experiences. Mothers’ experiences do not necessarily fall under the legal definition of discrimination. Only an employment tribunal can determine whether unlawful discrimination or unfair dismissal has occurred. In some cases the survey asked whether mothers felt their treatment was due to their pregnancy and/or maternity leave. However, in other cases, the survey captured whether or not a mother had experienced a particular situation (for example, dismissal) following their pregnancy but did not ask whether the mother believed it was because of their pregnancy. This report summarises the key findings from this research. The full research reports are published separately.