In December 2013, a Maternity Action report – Overdue: a plan of action to address pregnancy discrimination now – concluded that pregnancy and maternity discrimination is now more common in UK workplaces than ever before, with as many as 60,000 women forced out of their job each year.
It is also harder than ever to challenge such discrimination: the supply of free legal advice has been decimated by funding cuts and the abolition of almost all civil legal aid. And, since July 2013, upfront fees of up to £1,200 to pursue an employment tribunal claim for pregnancy, maternity or sex discrimination have had a devastating impact on women’s access to justice.
With pregnant women, new mothers and their families also facing the biggest living standards crisis in a generation, the new government elected in May 2015 needs to take robust action on this issue. The scale of the problem – and the detrimental impact on women, their families, and on gender equality – demands a collective response by ministers right across government.
To this end, the Alliance Against Pregnancy Discrimination – the Chartered Society of Physiotherapy, the Family and Childcare Trust, the Fawcett Society, Maternity Action, NCT, the Royal College of Midwives, the TUC, the unions UNISON and Unite, Working Families, and YESS – has drawn up a manifesto, setting out eight key policy actions for the government elected next year.
Take action in support of the AAPD manifesto for May 2015
National organisations can support the AAPD manifesto by joining the Alliance and participating in our lobbying activity. Please email email@example.com
Individuals and local or regional organisation can support the AAPD manifesto by writing to each of the general election candidates in their parliamentary constituency, including the sitting MP if they are standing for re-election in May 2015, urging candidates to support the 8 policy actions set out in the AAPD manifesto.
You can find contact details for your local MP here. For other candidates, you can either wait until you receive an election leaflet or flyer (which will contain contact details for the candidate), or you can research the names and contact details of candidates by contacting each of the party head offices. Note that some parties may not yet have selected their candidate for your constituency.
Please enclose a printed copy of the AAPD manifesto with your letter (or, if emailing, attach the manifesto pdf to your email). Use the manifesto to draft your covering letter (or email), and include the following points:
- Pregnancy and maternity discrimination is now more common in UK workplaces than ever before.
- As many as 60,000 women were forced out of work by pregnancy or maternity discrimination in 2014.
- Economic ‘hard times’ are no excuse for employers to flout the law.
Thank you for your support.