Pregnancy Related Sickness Absence

Back to all Motions

2004 National Women's Conference
14 October 2003

Conference notes the recent changes to maternity rights. However we remain concerned about employers’ absence management practices that disadvantage women who are or have been pregnant.

Many employers record, actively manage and pursue capability procedures against employees whose attendance is affected by illness. Our concerns are that many pregnant women may have time off work through morning sickness or any other pregnancy related ailment. This absence is recorded the same as any other sickness absence and could result in pregnant women being subject to capability or competency hearings just through being pregnant.

Conference mandates the National Women’s Committee to:

1)work with the Maternity Alliance and any other relevant groups to raise awareness of this situation;

2)work with service groups to ascertain the extent of this problem;

3)influence policy makers and negotiators to ensure that women who are pregnant are not the subject of employers’ punitive absence management procedures;

4)report back to National Women’s Conference in 2005.