Employers not doing enough to keep pregnant women safe at work, TUC and Maternity Action warn

The TUC and Maternity Action have today (Wednesday) warned that employers are not doing enough to protect pregnant women at work.

  • New guidance published to protect new and expectant mothers 

The TUC and Maternity Action have today (Wednesday) warned that employers are not doing enough to protect pregnant women at work. 

The organisations have published new guidance which details steps bosses should be taking to keep female staff safe during and after pregnancy.  

The new guide says there are clear laws in place to protect new and expectant mothers. But warns that many bosses don’t know what they should be doing or are ignoring their legal responsibilities.  

A recent survey by the Equality and Human Rights Commission (EHRC) found that two in five (41%) expectant mothers felt that there was a risk to their health or welfare at work during pregnancy.  

 
The guide highlights the risks new and expectant mothers face. These include:  

  • Irregular and long working hours: Working irregular hours such as night shifts can change circadian rhythms which regulate pregnancy hormones. And shift work and long working hours have been linked to miscarriages, and preterm births.   
  • Travelling: Pregnant women may have an increased need to use the toilet which can cause problems for bus, freight and train drivers. There can also be a higher risk of musculoskeletal problems such as back pain during pregnancy which can be made worse by driving or sitting in a train, car or plane for long periods.  
  • Stress: Constant stress in pregnancy can be damaging. Stress has been linked to poorer pregnancy health and possible developmental problems in babies.   
  • Heat: During pregnancy, the body has to work harder to cool down both the woman’s body and that of the unborn baby, so a pregnant worker is more likely to get heat exhaustion or heat stroke. And pregnant women are also more likely to become dehydrated.  

 
The guide suggests ways bosses can keep their pregnant staff safe including: 

  • making workstations like desks and checkouts more comfortable 
  • changing workload or hours to reduce stress  
  • varying starting and finishing times to make commuting easier  
  • agreeing an increase in breaks to visit the toilet and drink more fluids.  

 
The guide also sets out what employers need to do when a new mum returns to work, and how bosses can support their female staff with breastfeeding and expressing milk.  

 
TUC General Secretary Frances O’Grady said: “Pregnancy can be a stressful enough time for any woman without them having to worry about dangers at work as well.  

 
“Bosses need to do far more to ensure expectant or new mums are safe at work. Too many are ignoring their legal duty to remove risks from the workplace.  

 
“I’d advise every pregnant woman or new mum to join a union. Workplaces that recognise unions are safer and have better policies in place to protect all their staff.”  

Rosalind Bragg, Director of Maternity Action, said: “We know from the women that call our advice line that too many employers are failing to take the health and safety of pregnant and breastfeeding women in the workplace seriously. 

“As a result, we know that many women end up having to choose between risking their own health or that of their baby, going off sick, or leaving their job altogether. 

“Union reps have an important role in holding employers to account and ensuring that pregnant women are protected from workplace hazards.”  Editors note

- Pregnancy and health and safety is available at: www.tuc.org.uk/sites/default/files/PregnancyBreastfeedingHS.pdf

– The EHRC research on pregnancy discrimination is available at:  www.equalityhumanrights.com/sites/default/files/mothers_report_-_bis-16-…

– The Trades Union Congress (TUC) exists to make the working world a better place for everyone. We bring together more than 5.5 million working people who make up our 49 member unions. We support unions to grow and thrive, and we stand up for everyone who works for a living.

June 4 | Together Against Trump – Stop the State Visit!

Stop the War condemns the decision to invite Donald Trump for a state visit in June. It is extraordinary that the British government has chosen to endorse this most reactionary and aggressive US President with a formal welcome. Join us on June 4; it is crucial that we take to the streets to show the world what London really thinks of Donald Trump.

We look forward to seeing you at one of our events!

If you have any further questions, or you wish to volunteer for us please contact office@stopwar.org.uk or 020 7561 4830.

Follow us on Twitter and on Facebook.

4 June: March Together Against Trump!

In early June, Stand Up To Racism along with others are preparing to protest Donald Trump’s planned visit to Britain. 

Last year, a quarter of a million mobilised to say no to Trump’s politics of hate and division. This time, we will take to the streets in even bigger numbers!

Trump is a symbol of the new far right. This is when we take stand together against the Tories’ “hostile environment” here too.

Read article where Stand Up To Racism co convenor Sabby Dhalu explains the importance of the march HERE

Join & share the Facebook event for 4 June demoHERE

100 YEARS SINCE THE VOTE FOR WOMEN AND 70 YEARS SINCE THE ARRIVAL OF THE WINDRUSH

Thursday 26 April 2018
Please register: lese@tuc.org.uk / 020 7467 1220

Guest Speakers Include:

* Dawn Butler MP, Shadow Secretary of State for Women and Equalities

* Professor Mary Davis

* Margaret Greer, UNISON National Officer for Race Equality

* Taranjit Chana, GMB London Region

* Betty Joseph, Chair – LESE Race Relations Committee

* Peggy Ann-Fraser, Vice Chair – LESE Women’s Rights Committee

TUC/EOR Discrimination Law Conference 2018

Trades Union Congress (TUC)
Friday, 26 January 201 from 08:45 to 16:05 (GMT)
London, United Kingdom

Please join us for our annual discrimination law conference, which gives trade unions, law centres, CAB and other voluntary organisations the chance to hear leading barristers give their views on the latest legislative developments and landmark equality cases.

Speakers for 2018 are:

Welcome – Paul Nowak, Deputy General Secretary, Trades Union Congress

Keynote Address – Her Honour Judge Jennifer Eady QC, Senior Judge, Employment Appeal Tribunal

Pregnancy, maternity and parental rights – Rachel Crasnow QC, Cloisters Chambers

Discrimination because of religion or belief and sexual orientation discrimination – Robin Allen QC, Cloisters Chambers

Equal pay and age discrimination: new legislation and case law – Rebecca Tuck, Old Square Chambers

Disability discrimination: recent developments – Sean Jones QC, 11 KBW Chambers

Sex and race discrimination: recent case law – Karon Monaghan QC, Matrix Chambers

The cost for trade unions, law centres, CABx and other voluntary organisations is £75 per delegate.

TUC affiliates will receive one free place for every ten booked (the 10th place will be refunded after the booking has been made).
For more information and to book tickets please visit: https://www.eventbrite.co.uk/e/tuc-and-equal-opportunities-review-discrimination-law-conference-2018-tickets-39186144814

SERTUC Women’s Rights Committee, White Ribbon Event – Friday 25 November 2016

SERTUwhiteribbonC Women’s Rights Committee OPEN invite to mark: WHITE RIBBON DAY
Friday 25 November 2016
6 – 8pm, TUC Congress House

Guest Speakers include:

  • James Chespy – from the White Ribbon Campaign
  • Hilary Burrage – Socialist Author and Campaigner Against FGM
  • Diana Holland – Unite AGS with responsibility for Equalities

Let’s end violence towards women and girls, SERTUC is committed to ending violence against women and girls so join us to mark the day when we get together to highlight the issues and work together to end it once and for all. A conservative estimate by the UN states that 35% of women worldwide have experienced violence at the hands of another person and 43% of women in 28 EU states have experienced some form of physiological violence by an intimate partner in their lifetime. The ‘Helen/Rob’ storyline in ’The Archers’ has reached millions of people and, via a ‘just giving’ page, has raised over £98,000 for the women’s charity, Refuge.
Information about the venue: Congress House is a fully accessible building  

Leaflet here.