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Pregnant women treated unfairly, say MPs

31 August 2016

Calls for urgent action have been made by MPs serving on the Women and Equalities Committee to address the rise in expectant mothers forced to leave their jobs.

This has doubled in number to 54,000 cases since 2005, according to the BBC.

As a result, the Women and Equalities Committee has called on the government to make it more difficult to make women redundant during and after pregnancy.

The committee referred to the German system, where women are protected from the beginning of their pregnancy until four months after childbirth.

Although the UK stipulates it is illegal to dismiss women for reasons relating to childbirth, companies can find other reasons for redundancy.

Further recommendations from the committee include additional protection for agency workers, including those in both casual and zero-hours circumstances.

As well as making it easier for them to attend antenatal appointments, the committee also suggests a "substantial reduction" for women making pregnancy-related discrimination claims within an employment tribunal, the BBC reported.

Committee chair Maria Miller referred to the "record numbers of women in work in the UK" and said the situation will impact on the economy if employers do not address the situation for new and expectant mothers.

Ms Miller criticised the government for lack of action to address the situation and the committee also called for reassurance that rights and protections would be affected by the UK leaving the European Union.

The BBC report also listed advice for those who believe they have been treated unfairly.

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