Pregnant staff `not treated properly'

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The Independent Online
FIRMS WERE urged yesterday to improve their attitude to pregnant employees and allow them to take regular breaks, as part of a new campaign to improve conditions for mothers-to-be who carry on working.

In Britain the proportion of women who work during pregnancy and go back within 11 months of giving birth has increased sharply. But Tommy's Campaign, a charity that funds research into problem pregnancies, said yesterday that one in five bosses is reported to be displeased when told that an employee is expecting.

The charity has launched a pregnancy accreditation programme, under which companies are encouraged to allow pregnant workers rest breaks in a comfortable, smoke-free area and to ensure managers are aware of the importance of antenatal clinic appointments.

A spokesman for the campaign said: "We want to create a culture where pregnancy is viewed positively and women feel they can speak to their line managers about their needs."

The charity says 12 per cent of women delay telling their managers until at least five months into the pregnancy because they are worried about harming their career prospects or have an unsympathetic boss.