Gordon Campbell | Parliament TV | Parliament Today | News Video | Crime | Employers | Housing | Immigration | Legal | Local Govt. | Maori | Welfare | Unions | Youth | Search

 


Treatment of pregnant women appalling, UC law expert says

Treatment of pregnant women appalling, UC law expert says

February 15, 2013

The treatment of pregnant New Zealand women and new parents in the workplace is appalling, University of Canterbury Associate Professor Annick Masselot said today.

Women in New Zealand and in many parts of the world are discriminated against by employers, she said. Despite legal protection against dismissal, many women are forced out of their job because they are considered to be more costly than men.

For a country that was the first in the world to give women the vote, greater progress is needed to be fairer to pregnant working women, Professor Masselot said.

Her report on pregnancy discrimination was recently presented at a European Commission legal seminar in Brussels.

``Cultural stereotypes are still very much alive in New Zealand and across Europe and women are still perceived as the main carers and, therefore, not primarily as workers with full employment rights.

``Women are not merely discriminated because they are pregnant and are about to take a period of parental leave; they are discriminated on the basis of the next 15 years of school holidays.

``It is parenting which is at the heart of the discrimination and it is mostly women who suffer from it because it is women who perform the vast majority of the domestic care.

``The level of protection granted to pregnancy, maternity and parenthood is more sophisticated for those working in the public sector than for workers in the private sector. The vast majority of women end up working in the public sector, which is then seen as responsible for managing pregnancy and childcare-related problems.

``Workers in the private sector are more likely to suffer from discrimination than those in the public sector. Discrimination appears to be less common in large enterprises compared to small businesses,’’ she said.

The introduction of pregnancy and maternity rights had led some to argue that women’s rights had created a barrier in women’s employability.

``Employers generally argue that more entitlement to pregnancy and maternity rights leads to more discrimination against women, while parents claim that more protections and more rights are required in order for them to be able to access and retain paid employment.

``It has been suggested that the extent of pregnancy and maternity rights is directly linked to lower employment rates among women. However, there is no clear evidence to suggest that discrimination against women is triggered by the existence of rights or that women are discriminated against because rights are too burdensome for employers.

``Not all is negative however, with more employers aware of the importance of work-life balance. Some professional bodies have been very active in raising awareness campaigns. In France the law profession has campaigned for self-employed lawyers to be granted periods of maternity leave on an equal basis with employees.

``In times of economic crisis, women’s rights tend to be reduced. Therefore minimum standards set by law are needed to guarantee a strong stand against discriminatory practices,’’ Professor Masselot said.

ends

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
 
 
Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Regional Headlines

More Evidence - Scoop Press Conference Recordings:
PM's Post-Cab Presser 8/8/11
"at that point [Tucker] told me he'd release it ..."

Hager Revelations: Inquiry Into NZSIS Release Of Goff Docs

The Inspector-General of Intelligence and Security (IGIS), Cheryl Gwyn, announced she would be instituting an inquiry concerning allegations that the New Zealand Security Intelligence Service (NZSIS) might have released official information to Mr Cameron Slater, regarding briefings provided to the then Leader of the Opposition, for political purposes...

“I am satisfied there is a sufficient public interest justifying the commencement of an own-motion inquiry into the substance of the issues raised with my Office,” said Ms Gwyn. More>>

Goff: Director’s Letter Contradicts Key’s Claims

At yesterday’s media standup, when asked on the topic John Key said ‘I wasn’t told’...
“In a letter dated November 2011 former SIS director Warren Tucker states three times that ‘in accordance with the usual practice of keeping the minister informed’ the Prime Minister had been told. More>>


 

Parliament Today:

Schools, PPTA Sign Up: Primary Teachers And Principals Vote Down Govt Plan

Teachers and principals have voted overwhelmingly against the Government’s controversial “Investing in Educational Success” policy, including proposed highly-paid principal and teacher roles. More>>

ALSO:

Gordon Campbell: On The Usual Round Of Mud Slinging And Name-Calling

This week gave an interesting example of how hard it is to untangle the reality from the slanging matches. The issue that emerged early this week could hardly be more important. Does the government intend to cut spending in health, education and on the environment if re-elected, or not? More>>

Earlier:

Electionresults.co.nz: National and NZ First Rise in Roy Morgan Poll

National has bounced back in the latest Roy Morgan Poll but the big winner has been New Zealand First who rise to their highest level of support since September 2013. More>>

ALSO:

Fish Pun Warning: By Hoki! It’s Labour’s Fisheries Policy

A Labour Government will protect the iconic Kiwi tradition of fishing by improving access to the coast, protecting the rights of recreational fishers and reviewing snapper restrictions, Labour’s Fisheries spokesperson Damien O’Connor says. More>>

ALSO:

It's Official: Governor General Gives Direction To Conduct Election

The Governor General has signed the writ directing the Electoral Commission to conduct the General Election on 20 September 2014. This is the formal authority to run the 2014 election, and enables candidate nominations to open tomorrow Thursday 21 August 2014. More>>

Gordon Campbell: No More Mr Nice Guy

When future historians seek to identify the exact moment when the prime ministerial career of John Key hit the downward slope, they may well point to Key’s interview yesterday with Guyon Espiner on RNZ’s Morning Report. More>>

ALSO:

Dirty (Politics) Weekend: Collins’ Admission Reason For Key To Act

"Despite claiming that the evidence about her in Nicky Hager's book was ‘false’ Judith Collins has now been forced to admit that she did send information about a Ministerial Services staff member to Cameron Slater for him to use in a baseless smear campaign. More>>

ALSO:

Potential Disasters: Underground Coal Fire On Denniston Plateau

Forest & Bird says one or more coal fires have broken out beneath the Denniston Plateau, and that the Department of Conservation (DOC) must stop Bathurst Resources’ preparatory mining work going on there until the fire or fires are extinguished. More>>

ALSO:

Get More From Scoop

 

LATEST HEADLINES

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Politics
Search Scoop  
 
 
Powered by Vodafone
NZ independent news