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GMB Supports End to Pregnancy Discrimination

The GMB - Britain's General Union - has welcomed a report by the Equal Opportunities Commission (EOC) which suggests 30,000 working women lose their jobs every year because of pregnancy discrimination by employers.

GMB Deputy General Secretary Debbie Coulter said:

"Women now make up almost half the workforce. According to the EOC report only 350,000 women are pregnant in any one year in Great Britain- out of almost 10 million women of childbearing age. The reality is that the British economy needs women working as never before.

"The EOC tribunal figures tell a fraction of the story. The majority of women affected are unlikely to take further action against their employers because of stress, cost and time. The last thing you want to do while pregnant or you are caring for a new baby is go to an employment tribunal.

"More needs to be done to change employers' and colleagues attitudes to pregnancy in the workplace. It is too often viewed as an expensive inconvenience, as is maternity leave.

"If women fall out of the workforce when they have children this impacts not only on their finances and pensions, but businesses lose out on experienced staff and have the cost of recruiting and training replacements.

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