A number of key employers in the UK are to take a joint approach to dealing with pregnancy and maternity discrimination in the workplace.
Key businesses, including BT, Barclays and Royal Mail, have formed a coalition called Working Forward to help support the rights of female workers.
Backed by the Equality and Human Rights Commission, it is hoped the initiative will encourage other firms to do more to prevent negative and discriminatory practices in the workplace.
“We can no longer accept women being unfairly treated at work because they are pregnant or on maternity leave,” said David Isaac, chair of the Equality and Human Rights Commission.
“We are calling on employers to sign up to our initiative to commit to delivering equality and ensure working environments benefit everyone.”
Recent research by the commission found three in four women have be subjected to discrimination at work – making it a key issue for firms.
Those signing up to the coalition will be required to nominate a gender equality champion on the board and promote family-friendly practices, such as flexible and home working.
Jon Millidge, director of group HR at Royal Mail said: “It is important that women who are pregnant, or that have recently returned from maternity leave, are valued for the skills they can offer, and while there is more to do, we believe an engaged and motivated female workforce gives us a business advantage.”
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