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Pregnant NHS worker wins case after facing workplace pregnancy discrimination

An employment tribunal has ruled an NHS worker was discriminated against after her manager asked “objectively inappropriate and upsetting” questions about her pregnancy. 

The tribunal also stated that comments directed at Haddi Camara during a protected period were objectively unfavourable to her. 

A remedy hearing, to decide whether Haddi should receive compensation and how much compensation, was scheduled for a different day.

Haddi’s line manager, Paulette Douglas-Obobi, initially congratulated Haddi on her pregnancy.

However, one day after her announcement Paulette asked Haddi “did you plan this?” and “will this have to come out of my budget?”, in reference to the cost of maternity leave and other maternity benefits.

One day later, on 27 April 2018,Paulette asked Human Resources if the claimant was entitled as bank staff to the same maternity benefits as a substantive staff member.

That same day, another manager also emailed Human Resources to say “I have a query about a band 4 admin bank staff who does not seem to be working [o]ut well and we have been thinking of replacing her.‘’

Three months later, Haddi had her contract of employment terminated and was given just four weeks’ notice.

Earlier this month, a mother of two was awarded over £17,000 by an employment tribunal after being fired from her position at beauty firm Liz Earle while she was eight months pregnant.

Sadly, cases of maternity discrimination like these have become prevalent in recent years.

A report from the Department for Business, Energy & Industrial Strategy estimates that as many as 54,000 women each year may be fired or otherwise lose their role because of pregnancy or motherhood. 

It also found that over three-quarters percent of pregnant women and new mothers in the workforce experience some form of discrimination or negative treatment during pregnancy, maternity leave and return to work from leave. This is up from 45% of women in 2005.

Additionally, only around a quarter (28%) of those women raised the issue with their employer, only 3% went through their employer’s internal grievance procedure, and less than 1% pursued a claim to the employment tribunal.

The 1% who do go ahead to an employment tribunal are often ‘sacked and silenced’.

A spokesperson for Right To Life UK, Catherine Robinson said:

“Negative workplace attitudes towards pregnancy and motherhood could pressure women to have an abortion they may otherwise not have had. No woman should have to face such pressure.

“Cases like these are, sadly, becoming commonplace and just further proof that the culture needs to change to support mothers in the workplace.

“Ahead of the election, tens of thousands of our supporters urged MP candidates to sign the Both Lives Pledge, which outlined three policy changes designed to increase protection for babies in the womb and end pregnancy discrimination for women.

“We will continue to work closely with parliamentarians to campaign for positive changes and are hopeful that Mrs Larkin’s case will send a strong message to employers and colleagues that they should be considering how they can better support pregnant women in the workplace.”

Help stop abortion up to birth for babies with disabilities including Down's syndrome & club foot

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Dear reader

In 2020, the UK Government imposed an extreme abortion regime on Northern Ireland, which included a provision that legalised abortion right up to birth for disabilties including Down’s syndrome, cleft lip and club foot.

A new Bill has been launched at the Northern Ireland assembly that will remove the current provision that allows abortion for ‘severe fetal impairment’.

It is under these grounds in the regulations that babies with disabilities including Down’s syndrome, cleft lip and club foot can currently be singled out for abortion in Northern Ireland because of their disability and can be aborted right up to birth.

Before the new abortion regime was imposed on Northern Ireland in 2020, disability-selective abortion for conditions such as Down’s syndrome, cleft lip and club foot was not legal and there was a culture of welcoming and supporting people with these disabilities rather than eliminating them.

This is reflected directly in the latest figures (2016) from the Department of Health in Northern Ireland, which show that while there were 52 children born with Down’s syndrome in Northern Ireland, in the same year only 1 child from Northern Ireland with Down’s syndrome was aborted in England and Wales. 

This contrasts with the situation in the rest of the United Kingdom where disability-selective abortion has been legal since 1967.

The latest available figures show that 90% of children diagnosed with Down’s syndrome before birth are aborted in England and Wales.

We are, therefore, asking people like you to take 30 seconds of your time and add your support to the campaign to stop abortion up to birth for disabilities including Down’s syndrome, cleft lip and club foot in Northern Ireland.

If you live in Northern Ireland: 
Ask your MLAs to vote to stop abortion up to birth for disabilities including Down’s syndrome, cleft lip and club foot:

If you live outside Northern Ireland: 
Show your support by signing this petition in support of the Bill:

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Help stop abortion up to birth for babies with disabilities including Down's syndrome & club foot

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