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Sacked For Getting Pregnant Still All Too Common – Discrimination Claims

Sacked for getting pregnant still all too common – Discrimination Claims

Workplace discrimination against pregnant staff is still far too common according to leading industrial advocates.

Discrimination based on a person’s pregnancy status is unlawful under state and federal legislation.

Sacked for getting pregnant prompts hundreds of calls a year

Women who are sacked or unfairly treated by their employers because of pregnancy make up a large percentage of calls to Discrimination Claims. 

Litigation Director Miles Heffernan said:

“We get hundreds of inquiries from mums and mums-to-be who tell us their hours are reduced after telling their boss they are pregnant.

“Or that they have been made redundant while on maternity leave.

“In addition, it is common for bosses not to let new mums return to work on a part-time basis while she takes care of the new bub.”

The law

Currently at a federal level, the Fair Work Act and the Sex Discrimination Act make pregnancy-related discrimination unlawful.

Examples can include:

  • Firing or refusing to hire women based on their pregnancy
  • Failing to allow parental leave
  • Refusing to promote an employee who is pregnant
  • Refusing to create a flexible working arrangement on return to work, such as refusal of part-time work
  • Changing a worker’s role to their disadvantage while they are on maternity leave
  • Sacking a worker who falls pregnant during probationary periods

In other words, the law forbids discrimination if the employer’s motives for their actions are because the worker is pregnant.


More than half of women report pregnancy discrimination

Pregnant women are still experiencing discrimination, according to research.

According to the Australian Human Rights Commission, 54 percent of women believe that their careers have been affected by taking maternity leave. 

A further 44 percent say their salaries stall, while 30.4 percent believe their careers have taken a backward step.

29.9 percent say they sacrificed their careers when they gave birth.

Marian Baird and Rae Cooper found that only 33 percent of women who went back to work after childbirth returned to the same job and pay.

To contact Discrimination Claims call

1800 437 825

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