Labour Research (July 2016)

Equality news

Bias against young mums

Young mothers are significantly more likely to experience pregnancy and maternity discrimination, with six times as many under- 25-year-olds compared to the average reporting being dismissed from their jobs after they tell their employer they are pregnant. 

The findings are part of research undertaken by the EHRC equality watchdog and published recently in partnership with the Department for Business, Innovation & Skills.

The EHRC developed the project in conjunction with the TUC, The Young Women’s Trust, the Fawcett Society, Maternity Action and the Royal College of Midwives. 

The research reveals that young mothers are more likely than other mothers of all ages to have negative experiences. It found that twice as many mothers under 25 (15%) reported feeling under pressure to hand their notice in on becoming pregnant (as against a 7% average). And one in 10 mothers aged under 25 reported that they left their employers as a result of health and safety risks not being resolved (4% average).

Meanwhile, 15% of mothers under 25 said they were discouraged from attending antenatal appointments, compared to the 10% average. 

The EHRC has launched #PowertotheBump, to help young expectant and new mothers know their rights. 

“Often these women aren’t established in their careers, with junior or unstable roles, low paid and reliant on their wage to support themselves and their babies,” said EHRC deputy chair Caroline Waters.

This information is copyright to the Labour Research Department (LRD) and may not be reproduced without the permission of the LRD.