Hotline for women feeling pressure over work and motherhood

For some women, vomiting and nausea lasts through the entirety of a pregnancy and can cause serious health risks.
For some women, vomiting and nausea lasts through the entirety of a pregnancy and can cause serious health risks. Contributed

WOMEN feeling under attack for having one eye on their career and the other on motherhood have been thrown a lifeline by union groups, or in this case, a hotline.

The Australian Council of Trade Unions created the Pregnancy Discrimination Hotline in response to what it believed were employers "flouting laws" designed to protect women.

According to the ACTU, about 67,000 women felt some form of discrimination as a result of falling pregnant.

ACTU president Ged Kearney said these employers were breaking the law in order to impinge on the rights of female workers.

"Many women feel alone and unsure about how to respond when the culture in their workplace is one that tolerates discrimination on the grounds of pregnancy," he said.

"We know this culture is so strong that many women quit just to avoid the expected outcome."

The union suggested any women feeling unfair treatment should:

  • Talk to co-workers who might have experienced something similar
  • Call a union if a member
  • Keep a diary of every conversation
  • Deal with their employer in writing
  • Call the new hotline on 1300 364 024.

Mr Kearney said the hotline would give women advice on how to protect themselves.

"Bias of any kind is abhorrent but when it's against 50% of the population and for something like child birth, then we need to send a strong message," he said.

Topics:  discrimination motherhood pregnancy workplace bullying

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