The paper 'Discriminating Against New Working Mothers or Pregnant Women' is a wonderful example of a human resources case study. Women in Britain have continued to suffer from an increased level of illegal discrimination in the workplace when they become pregnant or during the period when they are nursing their babies. In the survey, research firm OnePoll interviewed 1200 women. Out of this number, 40 percent of those interviewed were new-working mothers who felt that they didn’ t fit in their previous workplace environment, while three in five working mothers felt that they were not getting enough support from their employers.
For a long time, women have continued to suffer in silence (La Valle and Huerta 2008). A common scenario is when a woman on return to her previous duties, all her clients has been assigned to other staff within the department (Berger and Waldfogel 2005). And her clients are not returned to her when she has resumed her duties (Flouri and Buchanon, 2003). The controversial issue in many organizations is that working mothers are seen as being less committed to organizations in which they are working for (La Valle and Huerta 2008).
Many organizations are entering into out-of-court settlements because they don’ t want to been seen as discriminating against new mothers or pregnant women. A decade ago in Ottawa, parental leave for women was increased from 10 weeks to 35 weeks, and this was against most employers which made them start panicking. Because when parental leave was added to 15 weeks of maternity leave, this meant that a woman will be out of his place of work for almost a year (Chatterji and Markowitz 2004).
In another study that was conducted in the same year, it was found that those bosses that were anxious were found to discriminate against young women who were seeking employment. Today, the annual leave is a standard practice among Canadian women (Flouri and Buchanon, 2003), while parental perks such as extra health benefits, salary top-ups, and flextime options have become commonplace expectations among the young women (Fein and Roe, 2005). Yet even as organizations employ women, their attitudes have not changed much since a decade ago (Chatterji and Markowitz 2004).
Many organizations have reported with efficiency and financial burdens as a result of filling temporary positions left by pregnant women, especially if those positions are highly skilled or senior positions. Nowadays, organizations are not sure if women leaving for their maternity leave will return to their jobs or choose to cut on their workload because of children or quit the job altogether (Chatterji and Markowitz 2004). On the other hand, unhappiness may crop in among employees left behind because employees may be assigned extra duties or responsibilities. Maternity leave policy in Britain can be compared to maternity leave in Canada.
A critic of maternity leave in the U. K. argued that maternity policies may discourage organizations from hiring women has been criticized for various quarters including the media. But 3 years earlier, the editor of Vogue magazine published a controversial article titled, “ Year-long maternity leave, flexible hours and four day weeks… why would ANY boss hire a woman? The editor argued that working mothers after their maternity leave they return to their previous jobs with new conditions such as increased pay, flexible hours, and freedom to leave the workplace earlier for daycare pickups (Fein and Roe, 2005).
“ While organizations are required to treat and take care of their employees with respect, ” she wrote, “ shouldn’ t employees in various organizations in-turn be responsible when carrying out their duties” (Berger and Waldfogel, 2005). Many organizations, no doubt, have been seen to raise a collective fist.
Berger, Hill and Waldfogel 2005, ‘Maternity leave, early maternal employment and child health
and development in the US’, Economic Journal 115, Royal Economic Society.
Chatterji and Markowitz 2004, Does the length of maternity leave affect maternal health? NBER
Working Paper No.10206.
Fein SB and Roe B 2005, The effect of work status on initiation and duration of breastfeeding.
An American Journal of Public Health 88.
Flouri, E and Buchanon, A 2003, What predicts fathers involvement with their children?. Britsh
Journal of Developmental Psychology.
Tanaka, Sakiko 2005, Parental leave and child health across OECD countries, The Economic
Journal 115, Royal Economic Society.
La Valle, Clery and Huerta 2008, Maternity rights and Mothers employment decisions’.
Department of Work and Pensions Research Report 496.