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Launch of Alliance Against Pregnancy Discrimination manifesto 2015

Helen Beecher Bryant : October 2, 2014 10:37 am : News

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 richarddunstan@maternityaction.org.uk

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.

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Recognising good employers

Helen Beecher Bryant : August 20, 2014 2:17 pm : News

Did you have a positive experience of pregnancy at work, maternity leave and return to work? We’d like to hear from you.

Maternity Action is working in partnership with Your Employment Settlement Service (YESS) collecting case studies of employers who did a good job of managing maternity at work.  We are working with the Equality and Human Rights Commission to recognise these employers so we can encourage more employers to get it right.

The sorts of things we are interested in are:

  • proper health and safety assessment and adjustments to working hours and conditions, if needed
  • reducing stress and physical demands of work during pregnancy
  • paying more than the statutory minimum in maternity pay. The statutory minimum is 90% of income for 6 weeks then 33 weeks at £137/week.
  • good use of Keeping In Touch days during maternity leave, such as helping you to keep up to date, access training or do some work
  • flexible working arrangements that work for you, such as part time hours, working from home, compressed hours
  • making it possible for you to continue breastfeeding on return to work, either with facilities in the workplace or through flexible working hours to enable you to be home when you need to breastfeed

We are interested in hearing about smaller employers as well as larger ones and about employers in Wales, Scotland and England.  Read more about the project here.

Please email us on showcasingemployers@maternityaction.org.uk or call Camilla Palmer on 020 3701 7531

 

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Showcasing employers solving the practical challenges of managing maternity

MaternityAction : August 20, 2014 9:23 am : News

Employers – have you managed a pregnant woman or new mother in recent years?  We would like to hear from you.

Maternity Action is working in partnership with Your Employment Settlement Service (YESS) to collect case studies of employers who have found solutions to some of the practical challenges of managing pregnant women and new mothers at work.  The case studies will be profiled in a campaign run by the Equality and Human Rights Commission in 2015.

We are looking for a mixture of small, medium and large employers, employers from different industries and those managing women in part time, full time and shift-worker roles across England, Scotland and Wales.

Many of the case studies we will be showcasing are common sense solutions to management challenges.  We know that a lot of employers are uncertain about how best to manage pregnant or new mothers, and we are hoping that these case studies will make it easier for them.

Download a summary here and find out more at http://www.maternityaction.org.uk/wp/advice-2/advice/showcasingemployers/

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Charging vulnerable migrant women for NHS care

MaternityAction : July 7, 2014 1:26 pm : News
Maternity Action has released a briefing and podcast on charging vulnerable migrant women for NHS maternity care and the impact of the Immigration Act 2014.
Aimed at midwives and others with an interest in improving health outcomes, the briefing outlines existing charging rules and examines the impact on health risks and the woman’s relationship of trust with her midwife.  The briefing considers arguments about cost savings to the NHS and explores how charging policies fit with strategies to reduce maternity health inequalities.
You can read and listen to them here
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Free training on maternity rights and benefits

MaternityAction : June 13, 2014 12:31 pm : News

Maternity Action has developed a series of webinar-based training courses on maternity rights and benefits for advice workers, midwives and other health workers.  We are offering free places while we pilot the training, and you can sign up here https://www.surveymonkey.com/s/SW9LVJJ   

Places are limited.

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Podcast on access to primary care

MaternityAction : May 27, 2014 5:32 pm : News, Uncategorized
Maternity Action released a podcast about their new report, Women’s voices on health: addressing barriers to accessing primary care. You can listen to it here.
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Women need more flexibility in booking GP appointments

MaternityAction : May 27, 2014 4:50 pm : News

EMBARGOED UNTIL 00:01 28.05.2014

 

A report released today by Maternity Action and the Women’s Health and Equality Consortium found that women faced particular difficulties accessing GP services, impacting on their health and the health of their families.

“There is an urgent need for GP services to simplify registration procedures and offer more flexibility in booking appointments.

“Two in five of the women surveyed said it was hard to get an appointment with their GP.  They are left to choose between missing work without notice for a same day appointment or waiting several weeks to be seen,” said Maternity Action Director, Rosalind Bragg.

“Three-quarters of mothers report bringing children with them to their appointments as they were unable to arrange childcare at short notice.  This affects what they are able to discuss in their appointments and has resulted in serious breaches of confidentiality.

“More than three in five women prefer to see a female GP about sexual and reproductive health but one in five could not ask for a female GP at their surgery.

“Refugee and asylum seeking women reported particular difficulties obtaining appointments, requiring help from social workers or family members before they could arrange to see a doctor.

ENDS

 

Notes:

  1. Maternity Action is the UK’s leading charity committed to ending inequality and improving the health and well-being of pregnant women, partners and young children – from conception through to the child’s early years.  Maternity Action provides free online information and telephone advice on maternity rights at work and maternity benefits which is available to all pregnant women, new mothers and their families.
  2. The report, Women’s voices on health: addressing barriers to accessing primary careis based on a detailed online survey of 300 women and five focus groups with, respectively, Black and Minority Ethnic women, refugee and asylum seeking women, women living with HIV, LGBT women and women with learning difficulties.
  3. The Women’s Health and Equality Consortium (WHEC) is a partnership of women’s charity organizations who share common goals of health and equality for girls and women.  WHEC aims to ensure that health policy reflects the real needs of girls and women.  It therefore pools the expertise of member organizations to better influence decision-makers and government.  WHEC works to improve the sustainability of the women’s and girls’ health and social care systems, and to strengthen women’s and girls’ capacity to engage with the health and social care systems.

 

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Podcasts for mums and dads

MaternityAction : April 22, 2014 5:56 pm : News

Maternity Action has just released three new podcasts for pregnant women, new mothers, fathers and partners on their rights at work.  These give parents up to date information on their rights.

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Overdue: a plan of action to tackle pregnancy discrimination now

MaternityAction : December 9, 2013 12:01 am : News, Uncategorized

Download PDF of this information page

In 2005, three years before the global financial crisis of late 2008 and subsequent recession, a landmark study by the Equal Opportunities Commission found that half of all pregnant women suffered a related disadvantage at work, and that each year 30,000 were forced out of their job.

Eight years on, all the available evidence suggests that such pregnancy and maternity discrimination is now more common than ever before, and that as many as 60,000 women are pushed out of work each year.

This report examines the extent of pregnancy and maternity discrimination, assesses the Government’s statements and actions on the issue since 2010, and sets out a plan of action to tackle such discrimination now.

Tell Your Story – When I Had My Baby

Maternity Action are fighting to end pregnancy discrimination. The ‘When I Had My Baby’ campaign aims to shed light on women’s experiences, raise public awareness and campaign for change.

If you’re a mum or a dad and have experienced bad treatment at work because you were pregnant or on maternity/paternity leave we want to hear from you.

 

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Video of seminar – “Maternity, paternity and parental leave reforms: the health and equality impacts”

MaternityAction : June 19, 2013 11:37 am : News, Uncategorized

A video of Maternity Action’s free seminar,‘Maternity, paternity and parental leave reforms: the health and equality impacts’ is available.  The presentations are also available.  The seminar took place on Thursday 25th October 2012.

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