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MN mentioned in Guardian article about feminism

(61 Posts)
SunshineBossaNova Sat 31-Aug-13 01:14:31

"The website, with its four million users, nearly all of whom are women, is possibly the most mainstream and politically important example of this slow-burn resurgence in feminist thought."

Go Mumsnet! grin

K8Middleton Mon 02-Sep-13 18:01:39

I would like to say she wouldn't and she would actually have additional protection against pregnancy/maternity related discrimination because the employer is aware of the pregnancy but I've seen too much shitty behaviour to be confident that would be the case.

It is also never as simple as just making a tribunal claim because the amount paid out for damages due to discrimination is not much and is tired according to the bands determined by the Vento case which have only increased once (I think!) is last few years and something like withdrawing a job offer due to pregnancy is probably going to be in the middle band which was max £18k a year ago (I'm just going back to work so a bit rusty) and she'd be lucky to win without substantial proof never mind get much of a payout. Very few cases get a large payout. The process is time consuming, long and stressful.

Other factors are at play too. It might be that she works in a small industry or there are very few employers and taking action can blacklist people in some cases (it shouldn't unless the claimant is malicious) and it would be naïve to believe otherwise.

But mainly because some people are astonishingly ignorant of the law and make stupid decisions which are then fairly easy to cover up. Job withdrawn due to maternity discrimination? Oh no, it was because the referencing wasn't ok/the funding has been withdrawn/the budget has been reallocated/an internal candidate applied who has done the job before and scored more highly. Or my personal favourite "the job never existed in the first place. It was advertised and recruited in error".

The trouble with pregnancy/maternity discrimination is that you have to prove it is pregnancy/maternity discrimination not just general incompetency or a mistake or a valid business reason. Tricky.

K8Middleton Mon 02-Sep-13 18:13:32

And of course there are whole employers and managers who are brilliant but I would usually advocate caution until that contract is signed and sometimes afterwards

Size of employer is also not much of an indicator for good/bad behaviour of individuals.

Trills Mon 02-Sep-13 18:26:27

Never read the comments

anaotchan Mon 02-Sep-13 18:30:31

Oh wow. Thanks so much for the detailed reply, that's both fascinating and frightening.

I was once advised not to tell a potential employer I was pregnant during the interview, for a strange reason: because (it was argued) it would put the potential employer in an awkward legal position if they offered the job to someone else (ie I could potentially argue I had been discriminated against), and therefore I shouldn't tell them, for their sake.

But clearly that's not the case at all, and it was an overly optimistic view of the way things work in practice...

(Not that it mattered anyway - I did not tell them, but for my sake!)

K8Middleton Mon 02-Sep-13 18:45:08

My personal opinion is that it's best not to mention it so it just isn't an issue for anyone. But I have heard it suggested that it is fairest to the employer to say nothing but if an organisation's practices, ethics, culture and management behaviors are good it should be a non-issue.

Eg a good manager/HR professional doesn't panic and start recruiting people because they were the only black or Muslim candidate to avoid being sued any more than we would recruit a pregnant candidate because of her pregnancy.

Good, clear, fair recruitment practices to get the best possible candidate for the role are what the employer should be aiming for and evidencing. I like to think the vast majority of employers behave well the vast majority of the time.

anaotchan Mon 02-Sep-13 18:52:58

That's good to hear K8.

BIWI Tue 03-Sep-13 16:10:16


They sent a photographer around as well after I was interviewed. Quite relieved that they didn't use any pictures, but a bit hmm that my age was published!

K8Middleton Tue 03-Sep-13 16:36:32

I thought the comments about your age were a little unnecessary BIWI

LRDMaguliYaPomochTebeSRaboti Tue 03-Sep-13 16:39:45

That was you in the article BIWI? Gosh I am slow on the uptake.

BIWI Tue 03-Sep-13 16:42:20


jjohnsonvanessa Sat 14-Sep-13 09:44:34

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