Valuing families? The impact of cuts to maternity benefits since 2010
Since 2010, the Government has made a series of cuts to benefits and statutory payments targeted at or available to pregnant women and parents of children aged up to 12 months, including freezing and means-testing Child Benefit, abolishing the Health in Pregnancy Grant, and capping the annual up-rating of Statutory Maternity (and Paternity) Pay and Maternity Alllowance.
This report concludes that these cuts are exacerbating the high rate of poverty among new families, including those in the workforce, and are contributing to the growth in personal debt. Financial pressures are forcing some women to return to work from maternity leave earlier than they would like. And take-up of leave by fathers and partners is affected by family incomes, further reducing the likelihood of shared parenting. This entrenches the division of caring responsibilities and halts progress in reducing the gender pay gap.
Alliance Against Pregnancy Discrimination (AAPD)
It is against the law for an employee to be dismissed or given worse working conditions because they are pregnant or on maternity leave. Recession is making things worse. A group of organisations has joined together to call on the Government to publicly state its commitment to preventing pregnancy discrimination at work during the recession and to reassert that making a woman redundant because she is pregnant, on, or returning from maternity leave is illegal and will not be tolerated. The AAPD has written a manifesto to influence the 2015 election.
More than 30,000 women lose their jobs each year after becoming pregnant and a further 200,000 face unfair treatment as a result of their pregnancy. The Valuing Maternity campaign fights maternity discrimination and aims to improve services, information and support for pregnant women and new mothers.
Access to NHS maternity care for vulnerable migrant women
Charging vulnerable migrant women for NHS maternity care puts the health of mother and baby at risk. Maternity Action, in partnership with the Royal College of Midwives, is campaigning to ensure all women have access to essential maternity care. Find out more.
Charter of Rights of Women Seeking Asylum
Maternity Action works to improve the lives of pregnant women and new parents who are not in the workforce. We run projects to improve access to healthcare by refugee and asylum seeking mothers, and campaign and support for mothers who are left destitute.
We are actively involved in the Charter of Rights of Women Seeking Asylum which calls on the Home Office to ensure that women seeking asylum in the UK are treated with fairness, dignity and respect.