Forcing working mothers from jobs costs business £280 million each year

working mum

The losses to business were largely due to recruitment and training costs, and lost productivity. These could be even higher when reputational risks, loss of valuable staff, employment tribunals and longer-term productivity impacts are also included.
The new research also showed the cost to British women could be as much as £113 million a year when they’re forced to leave their job. This includes those who felt so poorly treated they had to leave and those who were dismissed or made compulsorily redundant. It found that women were most likely to be financially affected when they felt forced to leave their job at an early stage of their pregnancy, due to loss of earnings. 
The research finds that women who keep their jobs still report a financial loss due to pregnancy discrimination of up to £34 million in total over the following year. This includes failing to gain a promotion, having their salary reduced, being demoted and receiving a lower pay rise/bonus than they would otherwise have secured. 
Today’s findings follow recent research that showed over three quarters of pregnant women and new mothers, the equivalent of 390,000 women, experience negative and potentially discriminatory treatment at work each year.  A total of 11 per cent are forced out of their jobs. In contrast, less than 1 per cent of women reported lodging a complaint at an employment tribunal. 
David Isaac, Chair of the Equality and Human Rights Commission said: “Those who discriminate by forcing working mothers out are shooting themselves in the foot and incurring substantial costs. Today’s research underlines that equality of opportunity for working mothers makes good business sense.
“The best businesses know already that ending discrimination and unlocking the talent of women in the workplace makes them stronger and more successful. We encourage all businesses to follow their lead by supporting working mothers and showing zero tolerance of discrimination.”
Business Minister Margot James said: “Not only is discrimination in the workplace illegal – it makes absolutely no business sense, with a significant cost to employers and a devastating impact on the careers of new mothers and pregnant women.

“I’d like to thank the EHRC for helping to shine a light on this issue which is a key priority of mine. Together we will raise awareness to prove all discrimination is both unacceptable and costly to employers.”