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Protecting pregnant women and new mothers at work

On 24 July, the Equality and Human Rights Commission and Department of Business Innovation and Skills released preliminary findings of their £1 million research study into pregnancy and maternity discrimination at work.  We are calling on the Minister for Women & Equalities, Nicky Morgan MP, and the Business Secretary, Sajid Javid, to act quickly to ensure job security for all working women during pregnancy, maternity leave and return to work.

You can help by sending an email to your MP, asking them to press the Ministesr to act now.


An end to pregnancy discrimination

Each year, 60 000 women are sacked or forced out of their jobs purely because they got pregnant. Pregnancy discrimination is against the law and urgent action is needed to protect women’s rights at work.
Maternity Action convenes the AAPD which produced a manifesto for the 2015 election.
Our 2014 report, Overdue, documents the extent of pregnancy discrimination and the action needed to address this.
 We collected stories from women who have been affected by pregnancy discrimination.  All stories have been anonymised.  Read some of the stories here.

5 Key Rights – Know your rights, get your rights!

Too many people don’t know their rights at work. We have produced a series of five postcards, each displaying one key right or entitlement. These have been dispatched to more than 500 hospitals, maternity units and children’s centres across the country, and have been shared via our social media outlets. To find out more, visit our Know your rights, Get your rights page.


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.

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.