Close the Gap launches new Think Business Think Equality test on Pregnancy and Maternity
The Think Business Think Equality tool has been expanded to include a new test on pregnancy and maternity. The free online tool for employers already includes five tests on flexible working, workplace culture, pay and reward, progression and promotion, and the different jobs that men and women tend to do (occupational segregation). The tool enables employers to self-assess their employment practice, and provides tailored advice and guidance on the ways in which their business can benefit from gender diversity.
The new test on pregnancy and maternity, which takes no longer than five minutes to complete, has been developed to support employers to improve pregnancy and maternity policies and practice.
Recent research from the Equality and Human Rights Commission investigated pregnancy and maternity discrimination in the UK. Employers who took part reported that it was in their interests to support pregnant women and those on maternity leave, and they agreed that statutory rights relating to pregnancy and maternity are reasonable and easy to implement. The research also found that:
- Around one in nine women (11%) reported that they were either dismissed; made compulsorily redundant, where others in their workplace were not;
- One in five women said they had experienced harassment or negative comments related to pregnancy or flexible working from their employer and /or colleagues; and,
- 10% of pregnant employees said their employer discouraged them from attending antenatal appointments.
The new Think Business Think Equality pregnancy and maternity test and guidance will support employers to better support their employees who become parents.
Delivering workplace equality makes good business sense. Having fair and flexible working practices allows you to attract and retain the best talent, reduce recruitment and training costs, and it makes your business more productive, more innovative, and more profitable.
Our Gender Equality Pays research on the economic case for women’s labour market equality identified evidence that gender equality at work is not just good for women, but is also a critical driver for improved business performance, and a worldwide catalyst for economic growth. The report highlighted the proven business benefits of providing flexible working, and the macroeconomic gains where women's under-used skills are more effectively utilised across the labour market. Crucially, the research showed that closing the gender gap in employment could be worth more than £17bn to the Scottish economy.
Find out how your business can benefit from gender equality. Take the Think Business, Think Equality test at www.thinkbusinessthinkequality.org.uk
You can also download a range of guidance, templates, good practice examples, and find links to other support organisations.