Majority of pregnant women & new mothers face work discrimination in UK

One in ten left jobs as a result...

A new UK survey has found the vast majority of women face high levels of work stress and even harassment when dealing with pregnancy or young motherhood.

Some 77% of the women reported negative and possibly discriminatory experiences, according to the report commissioned by the British government.

One in ten women felt they were forced to leave their jobs as a result.

Over 41% were concerned that there was a risk or impact to their health or welfare, and exactly half reported a negative impact on opportunity, status or job security.

The survey involved over 3,000 mothers and 3,000 employers in England, Wales and Scotland.

The National Women's Council of Ireland (NWCI) has warned of similar problems existing closer to home.

Speaking about parts of the study of particular interest to Irish women, NWCI director Orla O'Connor said:

"If the woman was expecting a second child, she was more likely to be discriminated against...

"'It's like, 'oh, is this person going to be going off on maternity leave again? What does that mean for us?' And therefore she's put to the side more".