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Discrimination at work - evidence in a pregnancy and maternity discrimination claim
If you’ve been treated unfairly by an employer because you’re pregnant or you’ve recently had a baby, it could be pregnancy and maternity discrimination. Pregnancy and maternity discrimination is unlawful under the Equality Act 2010.
If you’ve been unlawfully discriminated against, you may be able to make a discrimination claim in the employment tribunal.
This page explains about useful evidence if you want to make a pregnancy and maternity discrimination claim.
Showing pregnancy and maternity discrimination - key points
If you want to take action about pregnancy and maternity discrimination you need to show that you’ve been treated unfavourably because:
- you’re pregnant
- of a pregnancy-related illness
- you’re on maternity leave
- you’ve tried to take maternity leave to which you’re entitled.
You only have to show unfavourable treatment. This means you need to show you’ve suffered a disadvantage - for example, that you’ve missed out on a promotion or that you’ve been dismissed. But you don’t have to compare your situation to that of a man to prove pregnancy discrimination, although it may be useful evidence to show how a man would have been treated in your situation.
The following things are useful evidence for a pregnancy and maternity discrimination claim:
- a description of what happened in chronological order, when it happened, where it happened and who was there
- the date of your expected week of childbirth and the date you informed your employer you were pregnant
- a copy of your MATB1 certificate issued by your GP or midwife and which shows when your baby is due, as well as the date you gave it to your employer
- details of any complaint you made to your employer about your treatment and the outcome of the complaint
- a description of how you were treated before your employer knew about your pregnancy or before you asked for, or went on, maternity leave - this is so you can show a comparison with how you were treated after you told them
- a copy of your employer's maternity policy, if there is one, and details of how you've not been treated in accordance with the policy
- a copy of any risk assessment your employer has carried out
- examples of how other women at work are or have been treated when pregnant or on maternity leave
- examples of how other staff in a similar situation to you, but who aren’t pregnant or on maternity leave, are treated - this will help you show your treatment is because of your pregnancy and maternity and not for some other reason
- if your employer has a different version of events, think about why yours should be believed - do you have any evidence to prove it?
- Employment tribunals - the general legal tests that tribunals will apply to your discrimination claim
- Pregnancy and maternity discrimination at work
- Spotting pregnancy and maternity discrimination at work flowchart
Other useful information
Equality Advisory Support Service (EASS)
If you have experienced discrimination, you can get help from the EASS discrimination helpline.
Equality and Human Rights Commission (EHRC)
You can find useful information about discrimination on the EHRC website.
Acas (Advisory, Conciliation and Arbitration Service) provides free and impartial information and advice on all aspects of workplace relations and employment law.
To talk to an adviser about your employment problem, call the Acas helpline on 0300 123 1100.