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Pregnancy and maternity discrimination

Updating author: Tina McKevitt

Summary

  • Pregnancy and maternity is a protected characteristic under the Equality Act 2010. (See Definition of pregnancy and maternity)
  • As well as being liable for its own actions, there are circumstances in which an employer will be liable for the acts of others. (See Who is liable?)
  • The Equality Act 2010 prohibits direct discrimination and victimisation. (See Prohibited conduct)
  • Direct discrimination is unfavourable treatment related to the protected characteristic of pregnancy and maternity. (See Direct discrimination)
  • Under the Protection from Harassment Act 1997, an employer may be vicariously liable for a course of conduct by one of its employees that amounts to harassment under the Act. (See Protection from Harassment Act 1997)
  • Victimisation occurs when a person is subjected to a detriment because he or she did a protected act. (See Victimisation)
  • Exceptions from unlawful discrimination exist in relation to non-contractual payments to women on maternity leave and in relation to various other matters including acts done for the purpose of safeguarding national security and insurance contracts. (See Exceptions)

Sector resources

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