Pregnancy law Uk

Essay by salman81 May 2008

download word file, 19 pages 3.0

In legal terms, attempts to bring about equality between men and women in the workplace have failed, mainly because the view of what is equality is based on a false premise: attempts at equality have reinforced the traditional stereotype of 'men's' work and 'women's' work and have failed to address the structural inequalities that traditionally. This paper will seek to examine and critically evaluate the legislation and case law of the UK and the European Community (EC) on pregnancy dismissals in employment. The main thrust of the paper will be an attempt to ask to what extent should women be protected by law against detrimental treatment on grounds of pregnancy. That this seemingly simple question needs to be asked is evident from the troubled manner in which UK courts have so far dealt with the matter and from the fact that it is only recently that the EU has passed a directive on the issue.

The legislation and case law also challenge the stereotypical assumption that a 'woman's place is in the home'. In this area the law is forced to confront the old accepted traditional divisions between 'men's' work and 'women's' work. The paper will also show that for women in the UK, it is our membership of the EU which offers the most realistic hope of obtaining a true equality, or indeed a special recognition of the unique status of pregnancy.

IntroductionPregnancy discrimination has its roots as far back as the industrial revolution. It grew out of the paternalistic notion that women needed to be 'protected' by men from the heavy, dirty jobs arising in the new industries such as coal and steel. It was the husband who supported his family: he earned the family wage and it was the woman who remained at home to care for...