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.”