Maternity rights are often overlooked

November 03, 2016 - 12:00am

Maternity rights are often overlooked

Pregnancy in the workplace and the maternity leave that follows is one of a working mother’s greatest concerns, yet it can sometimes be overlooked as such an important time to their employers. Whether the time is simply overlooked, needs are misunderstood, or even discrimination occurs, far too many employers are missing the mark. Not only are employers causing unnecessary frustration for soon-to-be and new mums and putting their organisation at risk for legal issues, but they are also passing up a significant opportunity to show employees that they are important and valued.

Help your employees make the most of this time in their lives and prepare yourself as an employer by focusing your efforts on these three things.

DON’T DISCRIMINATE AND DON’T ALLOW DISCRIMINATION TO OCCUR
It’s vital that your organisation does not exhibit any discriminatory behaviour when employing women who are pregnant and new mothers.

THINK LONG TERM AND DON’T BE SHORTSIGHTED
When you have an employee, who provides positive contributions, the temporary difficulty of handling the workload without them is a small sacrifice to make. By asking them to handle pregnancy and motherhood in an unsupportive work environment, you could potentially be ruining a positive employer/employee relationship.

CONSIDER THEIR NEEDS DURING AND AFTER PREGNANCY
Let your employees know that the support doesn’t end when maternity leave does. Be considerate of the need for flexibility, work-from-home etc. Going the extra mile during this time can encourage loyalty that you just can’t buy.

Having just come back from maternity leave, I have experienced the world of pregnancy rights and wrongs in the workplace from both an employee and employer’s perspective. What a minefield I hear you cry but it wasn’t for me, I had such a positive experience. I had Chamber HR to hold my hand at every stage – a great benefit available to all members.