Maternity rights in the UK

If you are working, there are two important types of protection at work.

The first is that it's against the law for an employee to lose their job for being pregnant, or to be treated unfavourably or worse than others because of their pregnancy or maternity leave.

The second is that an employer has to take steps to protect the health of the mother and their baby while at work. Employers have to assess any risks to the health of pregnant women and new mothers (such as lifting, standing for long periods, or working with chemicals) If there is a risk then the employer has to change the work so that it is safe and  manage those risks.

Maternity discrimination in the UK

Despite maternity rights being firmly in place in the UK, unfair – and unlawful – treatment of pregnant women and new mothers at work is still too common. Each year 54,000 women lose their jobs as a result of their pregnancy and that 77% of pregnant women and new mothers experience negative treatment

Furthermore, 41% of all pregnant women and new mothers face risks to their health and safety, which are not properly managed by their employers. And an astounding 4% of all pregnant women and new mothers in the workplace resign from their jobs because of concerns about health and safety.

What we're doing to support maternity rights

Best Beginnings has teamed up with the charity Maternity Action to create three new films highlighting maternity rights and how to get advice, information and support. These films will be available in our free app Baby Buddy and on the Maternity Action website. By sharing women's stories, information and signposting mothers to further hope Best Beginnings and Maternity Action aim to empower and educate mothers-to-be and new mothers and reduce discrimination in the workplace. 

How you can help?

We want the message to reach as many people as possible, and we need you! Please share our three videos on social media, tagging any parents, parents-to-be, pregnancy and parenting groups you think would benefit from the films.

When you've watched the films, please complete this short survey. Your answers will support Maternity Action's research. 

For further advice, information and support

For pregnancy and parenting information to take you from conception through early parenting, please download our multi-award winning app Baby Buddy. For advice and support about your maternity rights please visit Maternity Action or call their Maternity Rights Advice Line on 0808 802 0029.