Challenging Pregnancy Discrimination in NI

Dylan Loughlin

Where Pregnancy discrimination exists, it can cast a long shadow over the professional lives of women.

In Northern Ireland, despite legal protections in place, such as those outlined in the Employment Rights (Northern Ireland) Order 1996 pregnancy discrimination persists in many workplaces.

From discriminatory hiring practices to unjust treatment and even dismissal, pregnant women often find themselves navigating a minefield of bias and prejudice as was the case for one woman who Copacetic recently supported.

During The Hiring Process

One of the most prevalent forms of pregnancy discrimination in Northern Ireland occurs during the hiring process. Many women face the grim reality of being passed over for job opportunities or promotions due to their pregnancy or potential for future maternity leave. Employers, consciously or unconsciously, may view pregnancy as a liability, opting for candidates who they perceive as less likely to require time off for caregiving responsibilities.

During Employment

Moreover, once employed, pregnant women frequently encounter obstacles in the workplace, ranging from lack of accommodations to outright hostility. Despite legal mandates requiring employers to make reasonable adjustments for pregnant employees, such as providing flexible work hours or modifying duties that pose a risk to health, many workplaces fall short in meeting these obligations. This failure not only jeopardizes the well-being of expectant mothers but also perpetuates a culture of discrimination and inequality.

Dismissal And Forced Resignation

Perhaps most distressing is the prevalence of pregnancy-related dismissal or forced resignation. Many women find themselves pushed out of their jobs upon disclosing their pregnancy or requesting maternity leave. Employers may cite performance issues or restructuring as reasons for termination, masking the underlying discrimination. The emotional and financial toll of such actions can be devastating, leaving women without income or stability precisely when they need it most.

Copacetic has form for supporting and empowering women to assert their rights and seek recourse in the face of pregnancy or other gender based discrimination.

Whether you are an individual who has faced discrimination and needs advice on where to go from here, or a business who wants to be proactive in fostering inclusive work environments that support the needs of pregnant employees, then get in touch with Copacetic today!