58% rise in number of complaints about maternity leave issues
Citizens Advice has reported a 58% rise in the number of women experiencing employment problems related to maternity leave.
Over the last 12 months, the number of mothers seeking advice about their rights have risen from 2,099 to 3,307.
The most common problems women report are:
- Redundancy after they tell their employer they are pregnant or while on maternity leave
- Health & safety assessments that are inadequate or not carried out
- Hours reduced against their will
- Problems following return to work after maternity leave.
The Chief Executive of Citizens Advice, Gillian Guy, said: “Employers have a duty to look after employees who are pregnant or on maternity leave.
“Pregnant women and mums who have just had a baby are protected by a whole range of rights at work. But in a growing number of cases employers aren’t playing by the rules and women are losing out.
“In some cases women are having their hours cut or even being moved on to zero hours contracts when they tell their employers they are pregnant.”
Women have extensive protection relating to maternity leave and employment rights. Employers need to ensure they have the correct policies in place to prevent mistakes that could lead to expensive discrimination claims.
As the Citizens Advice figures suggest, women and all employees are becoming more inclined to seek advice and take action where possible to protect their income and their employment rights.
Please contact Jackie Cuneen if you would like more information about the issues raised in this article or any aspect of employment law.