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A coping with pregnancy test for employers

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Close the Gap, Scotland, on-line test, employers, pregnancy, women at work, paternity leaveNew test to help employers improve their pregnancy and maternity policies and practice.

Close the Gap’s ‘Think Business Think Equality’ online tool has been expanded to include a new test on pregnancy and maternity.

The original free online tool for employers included five tests for small and medium businesses on flexible working, workplace culture, pay and reward, progression and promotion, and the different jobs that men and women tend to do (occupational segregation).

It enabled employers to assess their current employment practice, and provided tailored advice and guidance on how small changes to the way they run their business can make a big difference to them and their people.

And it enabled employers to self-assess their employment practice, and provided tailored advice and guidance on the ways in which their business can benefit from gender diversity.

Close the Gap works in Scotland on women’s participation in the labour market, and works with policymakers, employers and employees to influence and enable action to address the causes of women’s inequality at work.

The new test, on pregnancy and maternity, which takes no longer than five minutes to complete, has been developed to support employers so they can improve their pregnancy and maternity policies and practice.

There are five pieces of guidance covering Maternity Leave and Pay, Adoption Leave and Pay, Parental Leave and Fathers and Partners, Shared Parental Leave, and Returning to Work.

Recent research from the Equality and Human Rights Commission investigated pregnancy and maternity discrimination in the UK.

The research found that:

Around one in nine women (11 per cent) reported that they were either dismissed or made compulsorily redundant, where others in their workplace were not;

One in five women said they had experienced harassment or negative comments related to pregnancy or flexible working from their employer and /or colleagues; and,

10 per cent of pregnant employees said their employer discouraged them from attending antenatal appointments.

Employers who took part in the Commission’s inquiry reported that it was in their interest to support pregnant women and those on maternity leave, and they agreed that statutory rights relating to pregnancy and maternity are reasonable and easy to implement.

Close the Gap’s new Think Business Think Equality pregnancy and maternity test and guidance will help employers improve the way they support their employees who become parents.

Close the Gap’s Gender Equality Pays research on the economic case for women’s labour market equality, published in 2016, identified evidence that gender equality at work is not just good for women, it is also a critical driver for improved business performance and a worldwide catalyst for economic growth.

The report highlighted the proven business benefits of providing flexible working, and the macroeconomic gains where women’s under-used skills are more effectively utilised througout the labour market.

It also showed that closing the gender gap in employment could be worth more than £17billion to the Scottish economy…

To find out how your business – or your employer – can benefit from gender equality, take the Think Business, Think Equality test: click here.

You can also download a range of guidance, templates, good practice examples, and find links to other support organisations.

If you’re on the move, you can download the Think Business, Think Equality app for iOS, Android or Windows.

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