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Women fear maternity leave jeopardises their careers

The story features research by, which finds half of the 1,300 women they polled would hide their pregnancy from their boss to secure promotion; while seven in ten worried their job would be more vulnerable if they took time off for maternity leave.

This research is extremely dis-heartening and follows our own extensive research on the issue of maternity discrimination.

It is against the law to treat women unfairly because they are pregnant or because they are on, or have been on, maternity leave.

It’s a depressing state of affairs that as employment lawyers we still hear from plenty of women with children who have faced discrimination, despite the fact that it’s simply bad for business. All too often in our experience it is women on maternity leave who are made redundant. Losing talented women because they have had children does not make commercial sense.

If you have suspicions or concerns that you’ve been discriminated against then keep a record of the specific incidents in a diary. Look at your career plan before and try to gauge the effect your pregnancy and having children has had on it. It’s always useful to compare yourself with other people who were on a similar level as you before the pregnancy and ask yourself whether they’ve enjoyed promotion while you haven’t and if you can understand the reasons for this.

By Employment Solicitor Kiran Daurka.