Twice as many complaints of pregnancy and maternity discrimination in the workplace in 2017
In the space of a year the number of complaints filed for pregnancy and maternity discrimination in the workplace doubled. Such was the finding of a study by the Belgian Institute of Equality for Women and Men, which compared the figures for 2016 and 2017. The reason for this? Growing awareness among female employees of their rights as a (prospective) mother.
When analysing the complaints received in 2017 the Institute of Equality for Women and Men noticed several glaring differences compared with the previous year. Complaints as a whole had risen by 34%.
The figure was particularly high for complaints of sexism, which tripled as compared with 2016. The #metoo campaign may well have had a lot to do with this. Most prevalent among complaints of sexism were those of pregnancy and maternity discrimination. In 2017, one in five complaints filed with the Institute of Equality for Women and Men related to pregnancy or maternity. This is twice as many as in 2016.
It is worth noting that roughly half of the pregnancy and maternity discrimination complaints flooded in in the last three months of 2017. At that time the 'Mum's staying aboard' campaign, which the Institute launched in October to inform (prospective) mothers of their rights in the workplace, was up and running.