Unfortunately, discrimination against pregnant women has become more prevalent according to media. There was a report by the Equality & Human Rights Commission that determined that approximately 54,000 new mothers were discriminated against in their workplace and were pushed out of their jobs.
So, we will look at 10 tips that should help employers to better manage employees who are pregnant or on maternity leave.
1. Better awareness, planning and action
It is best to talk to the direct supervisor, line manager as well as other members of the team to figure out the best way to deal with employee leave and how to cover it.
There are a lot of different things that can be done such as recruiting another employee either internally or externally, getting a temporary worker, changing internal roles etc. It all comes down to your particular business in order to figure out the most appropriate decision.
In the event that the work is redistributed among the remaining employees, it is important that this does not lead to resentment since other workers will have a bigger workload. This is something that can negatively impact morale, work relationships etc.
2. Communication is essential
Next, you need to talk about the rights of your employees. For example, with a pregnant employee, you should discuss her plans as well as your company’s policy on maternity leave. Our HR services ensure that all policies and regulations are adhered to.
Some additional things that needs to be discussed includes, when her leave should be over, the length of time that she’ll have to take off etc. Remember, not all of these things would be definite, however, it is necessary to reduce misunderstandings, confusion and ensure that everyone knows what to expect and where they each stand. This will also enable you to better plan for and manage your employee’s pregnancy leave.
3. Keeping in touch
It is possible for an employee that is on maternity leave to do as many as 10 days of work without having to end their maternity leave.
However, do note that this is voluntary and not mandatory. It is also a great way to ensure your employee remains aware and in the loop. They can even use these days for meetings or training sessions. With that said, you cannot make it mandatory for your employee to work on these types of days and she also cannot work if you do not provide your agreement.
4. Training, policies and procedures
Once you have set the various policies and procedures, then you have to stick to them. However, if you do need to go against policy or procedure, make sure that you write down the reason and ensure that the employee fully agrees to it.
All supervisors and manager need to be fully aware of and trained in company procedure, policy and maternity policies. They will also need to have a good understanding of how the company is obligated to the employee as well as the rights of employees.
5. Unfair treatment towards pregnant women is discrimination
If a woman is treated in an unfair or unfavorable manner due to being pregnant or on maternity leave, this is discrimination.
Some examples of unfavorable or unfair treatment include not being offered training, reduction in salary, demotion of that employee when they return, pressuring the employee to leave the job etc.