Know your rights – launch of video resource to address pregnancy discrimination

This film resource will be launched in parliament today by the excellent charity Maternity Action with the Legal Education Foundation. MP’s from across the UK will attend. The resource will reach out to young women, helping them to tackle discrimination in the workplace.

The target audience for this group of films are women working in low-income jobs. This demographic are mostly likely to suffer from discrimination at work and to be unaware of their rights. Participants from focus groups suggested that these women would be responsive to scenario-based films that inform them of their rights.

Based on this, we scripted and produced three scenario-based films (built around workers in three low-income workplaces: care worker, supermarket worker and restaurant worker) that inform women of their rights.

An important part of our scripting process was to put women in positions where they were challenging discrimination. So, in active rather than passive roles.

You can watch the films here

Pursuing a grievance: Next steps for dealing with an unfair boss

Summary: Jasmine works as a care worker in an aged care home and has informed her employer about her pregnancy. After arranging an informal meeting with her employer to discuss the heavy physical duties that are a risk to her pregnancy, Jasmine’s employer does not do anything. The video explores the process of pursuing a grievance with the support of Maternity Action.

Arranging an informal meeting: First steps to dealing with a pregnancy-related problem at work

Summary: Eve works in a supermarket and has just notified her boss, in writing, that she is pregnant. Her boss does not respond well and starts to treat Eve negatively. The video explores some of the discriminatory treatment women experience at work during pregnancy and how to discuss issues with employers in an informal meeting.

What are my health and safety rights at work during pregnancy?

Summary: Aisha is a waitress at a restaurant and has just found out she is pregnant. She is worried about how her boss will respond so she searches on the Maternity Action website for advice. The video explores what health and safety rights pregnant woman are entitled to at work and what an employer should do.

Actors were sought from Nic Knight mgt. These included Aimee (supermarket worker), Leslie (care worker) and Komal (restaurant worker), as well as Melanie BEFFTA award winning comedian (@melanieTgayle), Amy B, Graham B, Lizzie, Ceza and Gilly D.

With the help and generosity of the proprietors of various locations (care home, Italian restaurant, supermarket etc..) we filmed the whole shoot in 3 days.

Working within the charity sector, NGO, not for profit sector, low budgets productions are a challenge, but we think that we do a good job.

A bit thanks to our crew at Neontetra films (Chris, Katie & me). We know a lot more about prosthetic tummies than we did before we started!

Also, to Procam for various bits of kit and for their energy efficient lighting solutions.

Building the legal capability of pregnant women is essential. With 54,000 women a year being forced out of their job for being pregnant or taking maternity leave. Please watch and share this resource.

Maternity Action Video Resources

Anna Burton