A new confidential hotline has been set up to assist women who experience discrimination in the workplace, as statistics show about 67,000 women had experienced some form of discrimination stemming from their pregnancy.
Launched by the ACTU, the hotline strives to catch employers firing, demoting, changing roles and forcing pregnant women into insecure jobs without consultation.
“I’m still gobsmacked by the number of employers who are willing to break the law and act against the rights of their female employees,” says ACTU president Ged Kearney.
“Australia has a significant way to go before we can say there’s equality between men and women.”
“Many women feel alone and unsure about how to respond when the culture in their workplace is one that tolerates discrimination on the grounds of pregnancy. We know this culture is so strong that many women quit just to avoid the expected outcome.”
“This hotline will give women advice about their rights and the steps they can take to protect themselves, report the discrimination and try to get a fair go.”
“We are disappointed but not surprised by the evidence presented to the Federal Government's review of the paid parental leave scheme that shows women workers are being sacked to avoid eligibility for paid leave.”
Ms Kearney said women who face unfair and discriminatory treatment in the workforce because of their pregnancy should quickly follow these steps:
1. Talk to your co-workers. You’re probably not alone
2. Call your union if you are a member
3. Keep a diary on every conversation
4. Correspond with your employer in writing
5. Call the Pregnancy Discrimination Hotline on 1300 364 024 to find out your rights because discrimination is illegal.