Estimating the financial costs of pregnancy-related discrimination

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Summary & aims

This project sought to estimate the financial cost of pregnancy-related discrimination to women, employers and the state, drawing on a 2014 Survey of Mothers who were in employment at some point during their pregnancy. The survey, commissioned by the Equality and Human Rights Commission (EHRC) and Department for Business, Innovation and Skills, provided more comprehensive information on the prevalence of pregnancy-related discrimination than was previously available. Therefore, this project built on past analyses of the financial costs of pregnancy-related discrimination, providing a more detailed and complete analysis of costs than was previously possible.


The project involved first mapping the financial and non-financial costs of pregnancy-related discrimination before using a range of available data sources to estimate financial costs.  These datasets included the Labour Force Survey and the Survey of Employment Tribunal Applications, as well as many other sources, including that on benefit receipt, pensions, childcare costs and recruitment and redundancy costs.  Costs were estimated over a one year period and were shown within a range where actual costs were likely to be affected by the assumptions made in producing the analysis. 

Timescale and funder
The project was funded by the EHRC.  It began in January 2016 and completed in March 2016. 


Bewley H, Ebell M and J FORTH (2016) Estimating the Financial Costs of Pregnancy and Maternity-Related Discrimination and Disadvantage, EHRC Research Report 105, Manchester: Equality and Human Rights Commission.


Sarah Stevens
Library & Information Manager


Sarah Stevens
Library & Information Manager