54,000 women a year in the UK are forced out of their jobs due to pregnancy.
Just 1% of these women take their employers to court to seek justice. And it’s not hard to see why 99% of us don’t.
How is this state of play possible in the year 2016? We don’t know, but team Mother Lover firmly believe it needs to stop.
In recent years, the website / movement Pregnant Then Screwed has become the voice of women who’ve experienced pregnancy or maternity discrimination at work. It’s a place for us to anonymously air what’s happened to us. The sheer volume of stories exposed on the site is staggering.
Now the Pregnant Then Screwed team have taken their campaign to end workplace discrimination one step further.
Very few women who’ve experienced pregnancy or maternity discrimination take their employers to court. A recent report from The Equality and Human Rights Commission found that now, just 1% of women who’ve experienced discrimination take a case to tribunal.
Several major hurdles stop women taking their employers to court if they find themselves in this shitty position. We rarely have access to the finances, know-how, time, solicitors or support network to face a court case. The number of cases going to tribunal has also dropped substantially since the introduction of tribunal fees.
Add to this the shattering confidence blow that redundancy takes, and it’s no wonder that vulnerable women don’t take their cases further.
With women feeling unable to take their employers to tribunal, most settle for unsatisfactory offers outside of court. Deals which naturally come with gagging orders. If the majority of women can’t talk about what’s happened to them, how many more should we add to the figure of 54,000 women per year forced out of their jobs? In reality, this figure could be much higher.
Pregnant Then Screwed are hitting this head on, with the launch of a Tribunal Mentoring scheme. It’s a free buddy programme, matching those going through it with others that have been there. The aim is to support women through this scary time – so that they feel stronger and more equipped to take on the big boys. It offers advice on the practical, emotional, financial and legal implications of a tribunal.
As Pregnant Then Screwed founder Joeli Brearley explains:
“Taking on the might of an employer’s legal and HR resources when you’re pregnant or a new mother can be a terrifying prospect. We often hear from women who feel frightened or intimidated, alone and vulnerable.
“We hope the friendship and mentoring of our ‘buddies’ will give women the strength they will need to persist with a tribunal so they can exercise their right to justice. We want fair and just treatment for mothers in the workplace and by mobilising our community we believe we can take control back.”
To get in touch for help on your tribunal process, or to offer support to other women going through it, contact Pregnant Then Screwed on firstname.lastname@example.org