Survey shows pregnancy attitudes outdated
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Almost two thirds of construction employers agree that a woman should have to disclose whether she is pregnant during the recruitment process.
This is just one of the worrying attitudes the industry displays in recruiting women, new statistics from the Equality and Human Rights Commission (EHRC) reveal.
The survey, which questioned 1,106 senior decision makers in business, found that British employers in general have outdated and worrying attitudes towards unlawful behaviour when it comes to recruiting women.
Conducted by YouGov on behalf of the EHRC, the survey was commissioned to understand managers’ attitudes around pregnancy and maternity discrimination.
Among the other findings in the construction industry were:
- 40% of employers agree that it is reasonable to ask women about their plans to have children in the future during recruitment.
- 55% of employers agree it is reasonable to ask women if they have young children during the recruitment process.
- 48% of employers agree that women who have had more than one pregnancy while in the same job, can be a “burden” to their team.
- 48% of employers agree that women should work for an organisation for at least a year before deciding to have children.
- 31% of employers claim to have seen at least one pregnant woman in their workplace “take advantage” of their pregnancy
- 40% of employers disagree that it is easy to protect expectant or new mothers from discrimination in the workplace.
- 55% of employers agree that there is sometimes resentment amongst employees towards women who are pregnant or on maternity leave
The EHRC is calling on employers eliminate these attitudes and more importantly, pregnancy and maternity discrimination in the workplace for good. This can be achieved by employing best practice and joining the Working Forward initiative to improve business practices and make British businesses the best they can be for pregnant women and new parents.
Rebecca Hilsenrath, chief executive of the EHRC, said: “It is a depressing reality that, when it comes the rights of pregnant woman and new mothers in the workplace, we are still living in the dark ages. We should all know very well that it is against the law not to appoint a woman because she is pregnant or might become pregnant.
“Yet we also know women routinely get asked questions around family planning in interviews. It’s clear that many employers need more support to better understand the basics of discrimination law and the rights of pregnant women and new mothers. Working Forward provides this support. We need more businesses to join. Work with us if you are interested in a better deal for women in the workplace.”
During recruitment, women should have to disclose whether they are pregnant (All business)
During recruitment, it is reasonable to ask women if they have young children (All business)
Women who have had more than one pregnancy while in the same job can be a burden to their team (All business)