Scale of maternity discrimination hidden because of gagging orders

The scale of maternity discrimination is being hidden because of the use of gagging orders when women who have lost their jobs settle out of court, experts have told the Victoria Derbyshire programme.

“My boss said if I’m not going back to work, then I’d have to pay back all the maternity payment.”

“Emma” – not her real name – was working as a beautician when she became pregnant.

She did not realise at the time that her boss’s request was against the law.

She was called into the salon and told by the owner she would no longer be needed at the company.

“I didn’t know what to do. I’m a single mum, no family. No-one can help me,” she tells the BBC’s Victoria Derbyshire programme.

“How can I pay my rent? How can I pay my bills? I was floored.”

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London criminal check delays a ‘great concern’ as jobs lost

On 14 December, 2016 this story I produced and reported on, led BBC London News programmes:

The speed at which mandatory criminal checks are being completed by the Metropolitan Police is of “great concern”, a government department said.

A Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS) check is needed to work with children or vulnerable adults.

The London force has 50,570 outstanding applications. The Met says that is down from 83,000 in April and more people have been brought in to process cases.

One nurse said she lost her job after an eight-month wait for clearance.

A DBS check is supposed to take up to eight weeks, with no checks taking longer than 60 days. But just over half of cases – 51.9% – are dealt with within 61 days and on average, it takes 107 days.

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Published 14 December, 2016