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Fight against pregnancy discrimination comes as welcome step

FSB has welcomed an initiative by the Equality and Human Rights Commission (EHRC) to encourage all employers to tackle workplace discrimination against pregnant women and new mothers. 

Barclays, Royal Mail and BT Group are just some of the organisations backing the Working Forward campaign, sharing advice on protecting pregnancy and maternity rights.

These businesses have pledged to eradicate discrimination from their own operations and to encourage their suppliers to do the same.

Helen Walbey, FSB’s Diversity Chair, said: “This campaign highlights the benefits of supporting mothers to return to the workforce.

"Employers want talented staff back in the business, and flexible working practices are becoming commonplace in many small firms. Supporting mothers and pregnant women helps boost morale, productivity, staff recruitment and retention, and ultimately sales and profitability.”

Other founding members of Working Forward include Ford, the John Lewis Partnership, Mitie, Nationwide Building Society and Transport for London, while the initiative is supported by the CBI, Institute of Directors and the Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development, as well as FSB. 

Business Minister Margot James said: “I’m encouraged that some of the UK’s largest businesses have committed to the campaign. As the Prime Minister has made clear, we are working to build an economy that works for all.”