Pregnancy and Maternity Toolkit

Pregnancy and Maternity Toolkit

What Is Pregnancy and Maternity?

  • Pregnancy and maternity is a protected characteristic under the 2010 Equality Act that ensures that women’s employment rights including her health and safety are protected from when she becomes pregnant to 26 weeks after she has given birth.
  • Maternity discrimination also extends for the period that a woman is on maternity leave.
  • Beyond the 26 week / maternity leave period, discriminating against a mother is included in sex discrimination – either considered ‘direct’ or ‘indirect’ sex discrimination.
  • Breastfeeding is now protected within the pregnancy and maternity characteristic.
  • As a protected characteristic, pregnancy and maternity does not extend to fathers, women or men undergoing fertility treatment, adoption, non-birth mothers in same-sex relationships, mothers who are not breastfeeding after the 26 week / maternity leave period or when a mother stops breastfeeding.
  • Women who fall under the protected characteristic of pregnancy and maternity are entitled to protection from pregnancy and maternity discrimination – any treatment, comments or behaviours that treat a woman unfavourably because she is pregnant, has recently given birth or is breastfeeding.

How Are Pregnant Women and Mothers Protected?

  • Pregnant women and breastfeeding mothers are entitled to a risk assessment, updated according to any new developments in their pregnancy.
  • Pregnant women are entitled to paid time off for antenatal appointments.
  • During the pregnancy and maternity protected period, teachers should not be disadvantaged because of their pregnancy or time on maternity leave, which includes having access to training and development and opportunities to promotion.
  • Teachers should not be subject to discriminatory behaviour, treatment or comments because of their pregnancy, time on maternity leave or decision to breastfeed.
  • Teachers are entitled to maternity pay and conditions according to those outlined in the Burgundy Book.
  • Teachers are entitled to 10 KIT days or 20 SPLIT days per parent, as mutually agreed with their employer.
  • An employee’s job and terms and conditions, or a suitable alternative job on similar terms, is protected whilst on maternity leave.

The Diverse Educators’ Pregnancy and Maternity Toolkit

We are collating a growing bank of resources to support you in reflecting on the following questions:
  • How can we avoid pregnancy and maternity discrimination in our schools?
  • How can we retain and support the career progression of teachers when they become mothers?
  • How can we empower teachers over the pregnancy, maternity and return to work period?
  • How can we reduce the gender pay gap in education by understanding more about, and addressing the ‘motherhood penalty’?
  • How can we go beyond the current legal requirements to support colleagues undergoing fertility treatment, becoming parents through adoption or surrogacy, fathers, parents in same-sex partnerships and as teachers continue to balance their professional and parenting commitments beyond the protected period?
  • How can we make our schools more ‘family-friendly’ employers, to benefit all staff?

Articles

BBC, 2015

Working mothers benefit daughters, study says.

Read

BBC, 2017

Government career break returner schemes launched.

Read

Guardian, 2015

Unequal Pay: the life cycle of a woman’s earning power.

Read

Guardian, 2016

Hello baby, goodbye teaching: how to get mums back into the classroom.

Read

SchoolsWeek, 2018

Profile: Emma Sheppard.

Read

TES, 2019

How to make your CPD event family-friendly.

Read

TES, 2019

Maternity coaching helps teacher-parents rejoin the race.

Read

TES, 2020

3 tips for returning full-time after maternity leave.

Read

TES, 2020

3 ways to support career break returnees.

Read

TES, 2020

3 ways to support teachers having fertility treatment.

Read

TES, 2020

4 things your school should do to make KIT days work.

Read

TES, 2020

Breastfeeding as a teacher sucks – but it doesn’t have to.

Read

TES, 2020

Is teacher training compatible with parenthood?

Read

TES, 2021

Can I be a head teacher if I have young children?

Read

TES, 2021

Is this lockdown particularly hard on women teachers?

Read

Blogs

Fertility Issues in Teaching

View

The Gender Pay Gap (NEU, 2016)

View

Honey, I shrunk the shared parental leave take-up figures, Richard Dunstan (Maternity Action, 2021)

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How to be a working mum without completely losing your mind (TIME, 2018)

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How to help mothers transition into maternity leave – and back again (People Management, 2017)

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Is maternity and paternity leave up for debate? How to negotiate more time with baby, Abby Quillen (Quill, 2017)

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Motherhood penalty for women and daddy bonus for men (Fawcett Society, 2016)

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The MTPT Project blog

View

Shared parental leave: the impact on relationships (WorkingMums)

View

What I learned from my maternity leave (EveryWoman)

View

Books

Brearley, Joeli. Pregnant then Screwed: The Truth About the Motherhood Penalty.

View

Brown, Brené. Dare to Lead: Brave Work, Tough Conversations, Whole Hearts.

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Brown, Brené. Daring Greatly: How the Courage to Be Vulnerable Transforms the Way We Live, Love, Parent and Lead.

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Featherstone, Keziah and Porritt, Vivienne. 10% Braver: Inspiring Women to Lead Education.

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Featherstone, Keziah and Porritt, Vivienne. Being 10% Braver.

View

Khan, Deb and Unwin, Lisa. She’s Back: Your Guide to Returning to Work.

View

Rae, Elliott. DAD: Untold Stories of Fatherhood, Love, Mental Health and Masculinity.

View

Sandberg, Sheryl. Lean In: Women, Work and the Will to Lead.

View

Networks

The MTPT Project

Find Out More

The Shared Headship Network

Find Out More

Dope Black Mums

Find Out More

Dope Black Dads

Find Out More

Music Football Fatherhood

Find Out More

Podcasts

CFEY with Iesha Small

Listen

The Morning Break with Emma Sheppard (Teachers Talk Radio)

Listen

The Mother of All Solutions

Listen

Voicing Education

Listen

We Are in Beta

Listen

Research

The Effects of Paternity Leave on Parents and Children (Cools et al, 2010)

View

Engaging Teachers: NFER Analysis of Teacher Retention (NFER, 2016)

View

Evaluation of the Return to Teaching pilot programme (DfE, 2018)

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Fathers seek more home and flexible working to maintain COVID transformation in childcare (Fatherhood Institute, 2021)

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The Gender Wage Gap (IFS, 2016)

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Getting a job: is there a motherhood penalty? (Gender Action Portal, 2007)

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The Importance of Teachers: a collection of essays on teacher recruitment and retention (Policy Exchange, 2016)

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Labour Market Output: Focus on Working Parents (CIPD, 2016)

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Maternity and Paternity Rights and Women Returners Survey 2009/2010 (Department for Work and Pensions)

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The Motherhood Penalty (TUC / IPPR, 2016)

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Parental Leave for Chief Executives in the Not-For-Profit Sector: Recommendations for Chairs and CEOs, (Leaders Plus, Society, 2019)

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Pregnancy and Maternity Discrimination research findings (EHRC, 2015)

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Shifting identities: A mixed-methods study of the experiences of teachers who are also parents (Kell, 2016)

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Should I Stay or Should I Go? NFER Analysis of Teachers Joining and Leaving the Profession (NFER, 2015)

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Teacher Retention and Turnover Research: is the grass greener beyond teaching? (NFER, 2017)

View

Teachers Returning to the Profession – Research Brief (NCTL, 2014)

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Who can ‘have it all’?: job quality and parenthood in the UK (Nuffield Foundation, 2021-23)

View

Resources

Adoption UK

View

Babble Talks

View

Bliss Charity

View

Career Break People

View

During maternity leave: Contact with employer during maternity leave and return to work (EHRC, 2016)

View

Leaders Plus

View

Managing pregnancy and maternity in the workplace (EHRC)

View

Maternity Action

View

The MTPT Project Accreditation and Coaching Programmes

View

The MTPT Project Training and Workshops

View

NUT Maternity Matters

View

Plus Baby Seminars

View

Pregnant then Screwed

View

Sands

View

Shared Parental Leave and Pay, Gov.uk

View

Shared Parental Leave for Teachers

View

The Smallest Things

View

The Talent Keeper Specialists

View

Working Families Employers Benchmark 2021

View

Videos

The MTPT Project – Being a Parent Teacher

View on YouTube

The MTPT Project – Network and Accreditation

View on YouTube

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