Pregnancy Discrimination at Work

A Qualitative Study

Davis S, Neathey F, Regan J, Willison R | Working Paper 23 | Equal Opportunities Commission | Jan 2005

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The findings of this study into pregnancy-related discrimination illustrate the breadth of issues that come up during working women's pregnancies and the common threads of their experience, in spite of different backgrounds.

The findings suggested that:

  • the discrimination women faced was often caused by problems with an individual manager or colleague, rather than the organisation or society
  • both employers and employees are poorly informed about pregnancy rights
  • employers are not all carrying out necessary risk assessments during employee pregnancies
  • few pregnant women facing difficulties at work take proceedings against employers
  • women experiencing pregnancy-related discrimination are less likely to return to work for their former employer.