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Greens will work for multi-partisan action on pregnancy discrimination at work

Media Release
Larissa Waters 25 Jul 2014

The Australian Greens welcome the Human Rights Commission's Pregnancy and Return to Work National Review, released today, and will seek discussions on implementing the recommendations with other political parties.

"It is unacceptable in this day and age that women are still facing discrimination at work when falling pregnant. Even though there are laws against it, there is still a pervasive culture of discrimination against pregnant women," Senator Larissa Waters, Australian Greens spokesperson for women, said.

"The federal Parliament needs to take this important Review and act on its recommendations to enforce and to strengthen the laws against pregnancy discrimination in the workplace. I will be taking this matter up with my Parliamentary colleagues from all parties to see a multi-partisan approach to eliminating pregnancy discrimination.

"The Review shows half of all Australian women who have fallen pregnant while working, have experienced workplace discrimination.

"This can happen when women announce they are pregnant, when they go on maternity leave or when they return to work form maternity leave.

"The Review revealed heartbreaking experiences of workplace discrimination, including women not being allowed to take enough toilet breaks while pregnant or being told to choose between having a baby or keeping their job.

"Having a baby should be an exciting, joyous experience and sadly for half of Australian women who have fallen pregnant while working it has been marred by unlawful discrimination, resulting in mental health impacts for 72 per cent of those women.

"Men are affected by this discrimination too, with a quarter of men who took parental leave reporting workplace discrimination.

"It's shameful that Australian workplace cultures are denigrating the important roles both women and men play in having and raising children and it needs to stop," Senator Waters said.


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