Maternity Discrimination Hampering Women Returning To Work

A recent research showed that with the years the number of women who take maternity leave and later find out they cannot return to the position they had left, rises.

Every year about 340,000 use the maternity leave and about 14% of them have problems at their working places when they go back, which often lead to their dismissal.

There are many cases in which such women were forced to move to a position with less responsibility.

Besides some of them feel their employers force them to resign.

The Equality Act 2010 prohibits the maternity discrimination at work. Unfortunately the law was changed and now women have to pay £1,200 in order to take their employees to an employment tribunal accusing them of maternity discrimination.

The legal firm Slater and Gordon conducted a survey among 1,000 mothers and their answers showed that almost a quarter were not well grounded with their maternity rights. A half of them shared their role at work was not the same after returning back from maternity leave.

Labour said maternity rights would be among their priorities at the next year’s elections. The shadow secretary Yvette Cooper spoke against the coalition because according to her they were betraying working mothers.

For the Independent she admitted her party would do everything possible in order to struggle with employers who did not manage to perform their legal responsibilities.

She wrote: “It is illegal to treat staff unfairly while on maternity leave. But most women don’t know the law and don’t feel able to challenge. So experienced and skilled women are pushed out of jobs or lose pay when they feel least able to disagree. That’s bad for the economy too”.


Surrogacy in the UK Needs New Guidelines

According to researchers, as there is now no regulation for surrogacy in the UK, mothers and babies are at risk of exploitation and due to this they have called for the introduction of new guidelines.

This warning was published this month in The Obstetrician and Gynaecologist in a review entitled Surrogate pregnancy: ethical and medico-legal issues in modern obstetrics.Many people are wondering whether the surrogate mothers will be assigned some kind of maternity leave.

It turned out that many healthcare professionals said they sometimes did not know what to do from an ethical or legal standpoint when it came to surrogacy.

After the UK laws on surrogacy, the intended family should not have to pay the surrogate mother anything else than her reasonable expenses.

Surrogacy contracts are not recognized by the law so the woman who gives birth to the baby is considered the legal mother.

Even when talking about host surrogacy and the woman who gives birth is not actually genetically related to the baby, she is again considered its legal mother.

Researchers wonder how surrogacy has worked in the past, as there were no clear figures about it.

Since 1985, about 800 children have been born from surrogate mothers in the UK. The expenses for such an event are around £15,000.

This review also claims that because of the Human Fertilisation and Embryology (HFEA) Act 2008 more unmarried and same sex couples would search surrogacy mothers as they now have the same rights to become parents as married couples.

In the words of obstetrician Celia Burrell, who co-authored the review, new guidelines were essential.

“We are calling for additional legislation and guidelines to prevent women and babies being exploited, provide safeguards for children and guide professionals.”