Survey finds a majority of employers think women should declare pregnancy at interview

Survey finds a majority of employers think women should declare pregnancy at interview

Research carried out by YouGov for the Equality and Human Rights Commission (EHRC) has found that more than half of 1,106 senior decision-makers interviewed think it is reasonable to ask a woman during the recruitment process about future plans for children.

In total, 59 per cent thought a woman should have to disclose if she is pregnant, while 46 per cent thought asking a woman whether she had small children would be reasonable. The research also found 44 per cent of employers questioned thought women should be in continuous employment for at least 12 months before having children.

Rebecca Hilsenrath, Chief Executive of the EHRC, said: “We should know very well that it is against the law not to appoint a woman because she is pregnant or might become pregnant. Yet we also know women routinely get asked questions around family planning at interviews.”

She added: “It’s clear that many employers need more support to better understand the basics of discriminatory law and the rights of pregnant women and new mothers.”

The EHRC survey also found that 40 per cent of the employers questioned claimed that at least one woman in their organisation had ‘taken advantage’ of her pregnancy, while the same number thought pregnancy was an ‘unnecessary cost burden’.

Meanwhile, 50 per cent thought there was resentment from other employees towards employees who are pregnant or on maternity leave.