Gender In The Workplace: Avoiding Discrimination Around Pregnancy & Maternity

Pregnancy and maternity discrimination is a form of gender discrimination that occurs when employees are treated unfairly due to their pregnancy or maternity status. In the UK, it is illegal and goes against the Equality Act 2010. Here are some key steps to ensure your games business avoids pregnancy and maternity discrimination and promotes gender equality…

pregnancy health & safety

Educate Your Team: Ensure all employees, especially managers and HR staff, are educated about pregnancy and maternity discrimination laws. Make sure they understand that treating someone unfairly due to pregnancy or maternity leave is unlawful and unacceptable.

Review Policies: Examine your company policies and procedures to ensure they are in compliance with the Equality Act 2010. Pay particular attention to maternity leave policies, flexible working arrangements, and any benefits related to pregnancy or childcare. Policies should be designed to support, not penalise, pregnant employees and new parents.

Encourage Open Communication: Promote a culture of open communication within your organization. Encourage employees to discuss their pregnancy plans or maternity leave needs with HR or their supervisors as early as possible. This can help in planning for temporary workload adjustments or arranging cover during maternity leave.

Avoid Negative Assumptions: Train your managers to avoid making negative assumptions about the abilities or commitment of pregnant employees or those returning from maternity leave. Evaluate performance based on objective criteria and consider individual circumstances.

Flexible Work Arrangements: Offer flexible working arrangements that can help pregnant employees manage their workloads effectively. This might include flexible hours, remote work options, or part-time schedules during pregnancy or after returning from maternity leave.

Support During Maternity Leave: Ensure that employees feel supported during maternity leave. Keep in touch with them and provide updates on any important changes or developments within the company. Be proactive in discussing their return to work plans.

Prevent Harassment: Have clear policies and procedures in place to prevent harassment related to pregnancy or maternity leave. Train your employees to recognise and report any harassment they witness or experience.

Monitor and Review: Regularly monitor and review your policies and practices to identify any potential areas of improvement. Take proactive steps to address issues promptly.

Promote Work-Life Balance: Encourage a healthy work-life balance for all employees, not just those who are pregnant or on maternity leave. This can create a more inclusive and supportive work environment.

Seek Legal Guidance: If you have concerns about potential pregnancy or maternity discrimination, seek legal guidance. Employment law can be complex, and consulting with legal experts can help you navigate potential issues effectively.

Lead by Example: As a business owner or manager, lead by example by treating all employees fairly and with respect. Your actions and attitudes set the tone for the entire organisation.

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