On Sunday many readers will have been celebrating Mother’s Day, it’s a day many families get together to say thank you to our mums, or maybe it was you who was being appreciated by your children or grandchildren. This left me reflecting on the way in which I believe this Government is letting down working mums through its thoughtless policy agenda and lack of action. I’m calling on the government to take tougher action on tackling soaring levels of maternity discrimination at work as well as reveal the impact of its policies on women.
I spoke in Parliament recently about the levels of maternity discrimination, which have doubled in the past ten years. Last year as many as 54,000 women were forced out of their jobs because they became pregnant. This is a shocking statistic and I have been contacted by women who have found that they suddenly stop getting hours at work after they announce their pregnancy.
Then once baby arrives, they just isn’t the same support there for parents either. Since David Cameron became Prime Minister 763 Sure Start children’s centres have been closed across the country, so many of the families who could have benefited from them have been left high and dry. I’m also concerned that the Government’s flagship Universal Credit policy is designed in a way that weakens the power of mothers to make decisions on the way household income is spent.
I’m disappointed that the Government has refused to publish a cumulative impact assessment of its policies on women despite numerous calls for them to do so. This government must stop dragging its feet on tackling soaring levels of maternity discrimination and the issues that matter most to the lives of working mums in Fleetwood and across the country.
This week I am calling on the government to outline their plan to support mothers at work and tackle maternity discrimination once and for all. The government must publish a cumulative impact assessment of their policies on women without delay. And locally, I would urge any of my constituents who feel they may have been a victim of pregnancy or maternity discrimination to contact the charity Maternity Action for help and advice: 0845 600 8533 or visit their website at www.maternityaction.org.uk.