The SNP supports the purposes of the Pregnancy & Maternity (Protection from Redundancy) Bill, which we believe would go some way to helping end pregnancy discrimination in the workplace.
The most important part of this Bill is that it takes the onus of responsibility for tackling discrimination off of new mothers and instead ensures that there is statutory protection.
Becoming a new mother is already challenging enough without having to take action if your employer is being discriminatory. New mothers cannot be expected to challenge the behaviour of employers when they are on maternity leave recovering from birth.
It’s vital that we have robust protections in place to tackle maternity discrimination, and to show that this will absolutely not be tolerated.
The Scottish Government are taking action where they can to tackle pregnancy and maternity discrimination:
- creating a working group to produce guidelines for employers to ensure best practice in the recruitment, retention, training and development of pregnant workers;
- including best practice information about managing pregnancy and maternity in the Scottish Business Pledge;
- strengthening employer advice (including information on employment rights) to ensure that work environments are safe and healthy for pregnant women and new mothers; and
- improving public monitoring and reporting of pregnancy and maternity under the Scottish Public Sector Equality Duty (PSED).