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BT - Working Forward - supporting pregnancy and maternity rights

Category: Industry News, Support, Business, workforce, organisation, encourage, discrimi nation

Working Forward - supporting pregnancy and maternity rights

BT are joining companies such as Barclays and Royal Mail to work towards a leading coalition of businesses in the initiative 'Working Forward – supporting pregnancy and maternity rights’.

They aim to encourage other organisations to take part in the scheme and eradicate discrimination from their businesses and make the best use of their female workforce, including supporting pregnant women and new mothers.

Women make up half of the UK workforce with over 15 million active in the UK labour market at any time. However, it has been discovered that over two million non-working women want to work and over one and a half million women in work would like to do more hours. If women contributed to the labour market at roughly the same rate as men, it would add 10% to the size of the economy by 2030.

The Equality and Human Rights Commission set up 'Working Forward' after their research Innovation and Skills, carried out in conjunction with the former Department from Business, highlighted that while the majority of employers say they are firm supporters of female staff during and after pregnancy and find it easy to comply with the law, three in four (77%) of mothers say they have had a negative or possibly discriminatory experience at work.

David Isaac, Chair of the Equality and Human Rights Commission, said: “We can no longer accept women being unfairly treated at work because they are pregnant or on maternity leave. We are calling on employers to sign up to our initiative to commit to delivering equality and ensure working environments benefit everyone.

“Attracting, developing and retaining talent, regardless of gender, is absolutely critical for the UK economy and for our businesses. Companies that show a real commitment to this are not only doing the right thing but can also gain a competitive edge.

“Our Working Forward founding members all recognise the importance of women in their workforces. Together, we want to raise the bar across the business community and ultimately improve the experiences of employers and employees.”

Marc Allera, Chief Executive of EE from the BT Group, said: “As one of the UK’s largest employers and one that prides itself on being a great place to work, we are hugely supportive of this campaign.

We are committed to creating a work environment that is fully supportive of pregnant women and new mothers and we’re proud to have a higher than average return to work rate of women after maternity leave of 86%. However we know there is more to do and that’s why we believe it's important for organisations to work together and share good practice to help eradicate discrimination from businesses.”

VERCIDA works with over one hundred clients who are committed to creating an inclusive work environment. If you are an employer and interested in working with VERCIDA to promote your diversity and inclusion initiatives and attract the best candidates, please call 02037405973 or email [email protected] for more information.

We are also officially recommended by Disability Confident as a step on achieving Employer status, please click here for more information.

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VERCIDA works with over one hundred clients who are committed to creating an inclusive work environment. If you are an employer and interested in working with VERCIDA to promote your diversity and inclusion initiatives and attract the best candidates, please email [email protected] for more information.

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