Pregnant women still being discriminated against at work, report finds


More than two in five pregnant women and new mothers face some form of discrimination at work linked to motherhood, according to the Dutch human rights council College voor de Rechten van de Mens.

In its latest four-yearly report, the organisation concludes there has been no improvement since 2012. In total, 1,100 women who had given birth within the last four years took part in the research survey.

‘Pregnancy-related discrimination remains a major problem in the Dutch jobs market,’ the council said. ‘More needs to be done to tackle this stubborn problem.’

One in five women said they suspected they had been rejected for a job because they were either pregnant, had a child or wanted to have children, while one in five had specifically been told this was the case, the report said.

Almost half the women surveyed who had a temporary employment contract said their contracts were either not renewed or not converted into permanent jobs after pregnancy. And a quarter of women also said they suspected that they had not been given promotion or a pay rise because they were pregnant.

Even though the problem appears to be widespread, it is rarely reported, often because the women don’t realise they are being discriminated against at the time, the report said.

Just 11% of the women surveyed had reported the discrimination to the relevant authorities.

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