Downturn brings further discrimination to pregnant women
Social organisations and lawyers are receiving more complaints from women who after their maternity leave have been made redundant, given a less important role, or who have been subjected to work conditions difficult to attune to family life.
The Belgian Institute for Equality between Women and Men noticed in its annual report of 2008 “a growing number of disputes linked to pregnancy, childbirth and maternity leave”, reported De Standaard and Het Nieuwsblad on Tuesday.
The numbers of complaints this year are in keeping with last year’s figures. There is still a steady flow of complaints, despite the awareness campaigns and the media attention regarding discrimination this year, explained Patrick Verraes from the Institute.
“We recently received an incredible document, describing how one employer gave each job candidate a list of questions. He asked if the candidate could officially declare that she was not pregnant, if she wanted more children, and who could look after the children if they became ill.”
“The employer is not allowed to ask such questions. A jobseeker may decline to answer."