'When maternity doesn't matter: Dispersing pregnant
women seeking asylum'
Maternity Action and the Refugee Council jointly produced a research
report on the UK Border Agency practice of dispersing asylum seeking women during pregnancy. Read the report, watch the video and join the campaign.
Children and Family Bill - Second reading briefing
prepared a Parliamentary briefing on the Shared Parental Leave and related provisions of the Children and Family Bill, and
another on on the right to breastfeed on return to work. Maternity Action also produced a two-page summary version.
Download 'Children and Family Bill briefing'
Download 'Breastfeedin on return to work - Children and Family Bill briefing'
Download 'Children and Family Bill briefing - summary version'
Women in the Workplace: UK Parliamentary inquiry
made a submission to the UK Parliamentary inquiry into Women in the Workplace and called for an investigation into pregnancy
discrimination to document the nature and incidence of discrimination following the economic downturn.
Download 'Maternity Action submission to Women in the Workplace inquiry'
Autumn Statement 2012: Cumulative impact of reduction in
maternity benefits and payments
In the 2012 Autumn Statement, the Government announced
that Statutory Maternity Pay and Maternity Allowance would be indexed below inflation. This briefing examines the cumulative
impact of cuts and restrictions on maternity benefits and payments over recent years.
download 'Autumn Statement - Cumulative impact on cuts on new mothers'
In sickness and in health and safety risk assessments
has produced a briefing on sickness and health risks at work during pregnancy based on data from the telephone advice service.
Download 'In sickness and in health and safety risk assessments'
Commissioning health services for vulnerable migrant women
Health and Equality Consortium and Maternity Action have produced Guidance for commissioining health services for vulnerable
migrant women. Both the guidance and the summary of the guidance are available in hard copy. Contact Maternity Action to request copies.
Download 'Guidance for commissioning health services for vulnerable migrant women'
Pregnancy discrimination research
In 2005, the
Equal Opportunities Commission conducted an investigation into discrimination against new and expectant mothers in the workplace. The reports are now available on the Maternity Action website.
Protecting Child Benefit
signed a joint letter calling on the Prime Minister to reconsider plans for a three-year freeze on child benefit and the introduction
of a claw-back from households with a higher rate taxpayer.
Download 'Joint letter to PM on Child Benefit'
Employment tribunal fees
Maternity Action opposed the introduction of high fees
for employment tribunal claims, including fees of at least 1500 for pregnancy discrimination claims which go to hearing. Maternity
Action argued for specific measures to mitigate the negative impact on pregnant women and new mothers.
Download response to Employment Tribunal Fees Consultation
Improving care for asylum seekers: The experiences of midwives
interviewed 62 midwives working with refugee and asylum seeking women in different locations across the UK. This research
informed the development of a two day training package for midwives aimed at improving maternity care for refugees and asylum
Download 'Improving care for refugees and asylum seekers: the experiences of midwives'
Maternity rights...and wrongs
We report on the first
thousand calls to our Advice Line which opened in May 2011. The case studies in the briefing offer real examples, received
by the Advice Line, of the complex situations women have to deal with whilst pregnant or when returning to work after maternity
leave. It also highlights the need for specialist advice, both to ensure that women's statutory rights are upheld
and to support women to pursue cases of discrimination.
Download 'Maternity rights...and wrongs'
Health and equality impacts of well-paid parental leave
around maternity and parental leave policies have paid little or no attention to the health impacts of alternative policy
approaches. This paper argues that the health impacts on mothers, fathers and their families should be a central
consideration in development of policy on leave, pay and other family-friendly employment policies. The paper was jointly
produced by Maternity Action and the Women's Health and Equality Consortium (WHEC).
Download 'Health and equality impacts of well paid parental leave'
Letter to the Prime Minister
Maternity Action has written to the Prime Minister expressing profound concern
at reports that the Government will remove the obligation on employers of fewer than 10 staff to comply with current maternity
and paternity leave arrangements.
This letter has been signed on behalf of 25 organisations.
Read the letter here
Impact of the Emergency Budget 2010
In June 2010,
the Coalition Government announced substantial cuts to maternity benefits and financial support in the child's first year.
Maternity Action produced a briefing which outlines the cuts and examines the impact on families.
Download 'Emergency Budget 2010 Briefing'
Lord Young review
of health and safety legislation
In June 2010, the Government announced a review of health
and safety law "to investigate
and report back to the Prime Minister on the rise of the compensation culture over the last decade coupled with the current
low standing that health and safety legislation now enjoys and to suggest solutions". Maternity
Action made a submission to the review about the poor record of health and safety protection for pregnant women in the workplace.
Download 'Submission to Lord Young review'
on charging foreign nationals for NHS care
Vulnerable women with insecure immigration status face
charges for maternity care. This puts at risk the health of mother and baby and may result in greater costs to the NHS
than providing free care to vulnerable women. Maternity Action made a detailed submission to the Department of
Health review of access to the NHS for foreign nationals.
Download 'Submission on entitlement to NHS care for foreign nationals'
EU Pregnant Workers' Directive: proposed amendments
Union (EU) Pregnant Workers' Directive is an important piece of European legislation which outlines minimum legal entitlements
for workers across the EU. It covers leave, pay, health and safety, breastfeeding rights and other aspects of work and
pregnancy. Amendments to the Directive are currently under discussion within the EU. There is an opportunity to
influence the amendments to the Directive and achieve the best possible legal protections for pregnant women, new mothers,
women who are breastfeeding, and their families. Take part in the campaign here.
Download 'EU Pregnant Workers Directive: Proposed amendments'
Improving access to maternity pay for migrant women:
Women in the UK on a spouse visa, work visa, student visa or any other form of definite leave
to remain have 'no recourse to public funds' as a condition of their visa. Many women are unaware that
they are entitled to Maternity Allowance as well as Statutory Maternity Pay. We investigated the information
available on Government websites and found significant gaps in online information. We surveyed the Jobcentre
Plus advice line and found that just under half of our calls gave the wrong answer. The vast majority of women
who are entitled to Maternity Allowance are on low incomes and in low paid roles, so Maternity Allowance is likely to be a
significant proportion of their household income. We have written to Government agencies asking them to take action
Download 'Improving access to maternity pay for migrant women: Maternity Allowance'
Additional Paternity Leave welcome but gaps in breastfeeding protection remain
The Government's introduction of Additional Paternity
Leave is a useful step away from a leave system based on old-fashioned gender stereotypes, but it should be accompanied by
effective legal protection for women who are breastfeeding on their return to work. Leave can be transferred when the
child is 20 weeks old, and many families will be choosing between sharing leave or continuing to breastfeed.
Download media release
Extending maternity and adoption pay to 52 weeks
2005, the Government gave a commitment to extend maternity and adoption pay to 52 weeks by April 2010. On 15 September
2009, the Government announced that they were not going to proceed with this. Maternity Action and NCT wrote an
open letter to the Prime Minister to express our concern.
Download open letter to the Prime Minister
Download briefing on maternity and adoption pay
Charging regulations and access to NHS maternity care
Vulnerable migrant women face barriers to access to maternity care as a result
of NHS charging regulations. Maternity Action is working to ensure access to maternity care for all women. Maternity
Action and Medact gave a paper on this issue at the 2009 UK Public Health Association conference.
Download 'Money and maternity: presentation to UKPHA 2009'
Pregnancy discrimination and the Equality Bill
Action campaigned for amendment to the Equality Bill to the current level of protection against pregnancy discrimination.
Maternity Action is delighted that the Government has amended the legislation. Maternity Action is part of the
Alliance Against Pregnancy Discrimination in the workplace.
Download Equality Bill briefing
Entitlement to GP and other primary
A joint Home Office and Department of Health review is considering proposals which
would exclude vulnerable migrants from eligibility for free NHS GP and other primary care services. We prepared a briefing
paper on the potential impact on maternal and infant health. We are supporting the Medact campaign to ensure access to health
care for vulnerable migrants.
(Maternity Action is carrying forward policy and campaign work begun by Maternity Alliance
and The Reaching Out Project, Medact)
Download briefing paper
Link to campaign
Entitlement to free NHS maternity care
We made a submission to the Parliamentary Committee on Human Rights on the treatment
of asylum seekers. We addressed the current policy and practices on charging refused asylum seekers and other undocumented
migrants for NHS maternity care.
We published an article in The Lancet on the 2007 Confidential Enquiry into Maternal
and Child Health and vulnerable migrants.
Maternal mortality and Black and Minority Ethnic women
We reviewed the information about women from Black and minority ethnic communities
in the 2007 report of the Confidential Enquiry into Maternal and Child Health.
Support for mothers in prison
We investigated the needs of pregnant women, mothers and babies in prison in our
report, Getting it right?
'Born in the UK' research project
We took part in the City University research project, Born in the UK, which investigated
maternity and post-natal care needs amongst UK-born ethnic minorities.
Mothers in Exile
We researched the experiences of asylum seeking women
who are pregnant or new mothers.
Download 'Mothers in Exile'
Experiences of maternity services: Muslim women's perspectives
We conducted a small-scale research study into Muslim parents'
experiences of maternity services in England.
Download 'Experiences of maternity services'
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Last updated March 2012