Call to abolish £1,200 charge for maternity tribunal cases

Lesley Brennan

6 January 2014

Lesley Brennan is supporting calls for the UK Government to abolish the £1,200 charge introduced last year that women now face if they wish to take a maternity discrimination claim to an employment tribunal.

She said,

" The introduction of the £1,200 fee to lodge their claim with an employment tribunal will undoubtedly deter many new mothers from proceeding further.

 "This is why the House of Commons Select Committee on Business Innovation and Skills has called for it to be abolished.

 "The announcement by the UK Government to fund £1million research into pregnancy discrimination at work is welcome.

 "This should be supported by government action to ensure that women are made fully aware of their maternity rights , and how to exercise them in the workplace against unfair and unlawful treatment ."

 Ms. Brennan also revealed that a Freedom Of Information request indicated that in the past two years in Scotland over 270 claims had been made on the grounds of pregnancy, childbirth or maternity.

Only 2 had been successful at the tribunal.

 In the period from 2005-2010 in Scotland , out of 660 such claims, only 51 had been successful.

 An investigation by the Equal Opportunities Commission in 2006 revealed that half of all pregnant women at work experienced some discrimination.

 It also found that around 30,000 women a year were being forced out of their work on the grounds of just being pregnant or for taking maternity leave.