Family Law

Maternity Discrimination and Pregnancy :

You may be discriminated against if someone treats you unfairly because of your pregnancy, breastfeeding, or recent birth. This is called Maternity Discrimination and Pregnancy discrimination under the Equality Act 2010. You may be able do something if you have been discriminated against.

This page will provide more information about maternity discrimination and pregnancy.

What does it mean to be Maternity Discrimination and Pregnancy?

The Equality Act 2010 is the law that says you can’t be discrimination cases. It is illegal to discriminate against anyone who is in violation of the Equality Act. You can also take legal action at the civil courts.

Maternity Discrimination and Pregnancy discrimination are when you are treated unfairly due to your pregnancy ultrasound, breastfeeding, or recent birth. The unfair treatment must cause you to be in a disadvantage. You have been unfavourably treated according to law.

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What does it mean to be unfavorable?

Unfavourable treatment is when you are less fortunate because of discrimination, such as not being promoted at work. You don’t have to compare your situation with another person’s, unlike direct discrimination. You only need to prove that you were unfavourably treated because of pregnancy photography or maternity.

As long as your pregnancy or maternity is not the sole reason for being unfavourably treated, it doesn’t matter. It doesn’t matter if the person who treated you unfavourably wasn’t discriminating against you, or if they had good intentions.

  • Outside of work, Maternity Discrimination and Pregnancy
  • It is illegal to treat you unfairly outside the workplace because:
  • you’re pregnant, or
  • You’ve been pregnant before.
  • It doesn’t really matter when discrimination occurs, as long as it is because of your past or present pregnancy reduction.
  • It is also illegal to treat you unfairly because of:
  • you’ve given birth, or
  • you’re breastfeeding.

You are protected from discrimination 26 weeks after giving birth or breastfeeding. You could still be protected from discrimination if you are treated unfairly after that. It would be sex discrimination, not Maternity Discrimination and Pregnancy.

You are still protected from discrimination if your baby is stillborn as long as you were a mother for at least 24 weeks.

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Breastfeeding provides additional protection

The Equality Act defines direct sex discrimination as any treatment you receive because you are breastfeeding a baby over 26 weeks of age. You don’t need to prove that you were treated differently than someone of the same sex. This is unlike other cases of direct sex discrimination. You only need to prove that you were treated worse than if your breastfeed had stopped.

  • Additional useful information
  • Equality Advisory Support Service, (EASS).
  • The EASS Discrimination Helpline can help you if you’ve been discriminated against.

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