Pregnant Then Screwed protects, supports and promotes the rights of mothers who suffer the effects of systemic, cultural, and institutional discrimination through our various schemes and activities, including: A free legal advice service, a website where women post their stories of discrimination anonymously, lobbying the Government for legislative change, and a mentor scheme that supports women who are considering legal action against their employer.

The Problem
* Government legislation is completely outdated and does not effectively protect working mothers
* 54,000 women lose their jobs for getting pregnant and 390,000 working mums experience negative and potentially discriminatory treatment at work each year. These numbers have doubled in a decade. Far from improving the situation for working mums is rapidly deteriorating
* Pregnant women and new mums have limited access to justice, demonstrated by the fact that less than 1% of victims take legal action against a discriminatory employer
* Discrimination tends to have a negative impact on a woman’s confidence and mental health. This often has a long term impact on their career and sometimes this has a negative impact on their relationship with their child and partner
* The legal process is incredibly confusing and stressful and pregnant women and new mums are very vulnerable
* Motherhood is a major contributor to the gender pay gap with the gap for young women and men being almost non existent, but the gap widens consistently for 12 years after the first child is born, by which point women receive 33% less pay per hour than men.

The Solution:
To tackle the root causes of motherhood discrimination and promote the rights of women we:
* Document the stories of working mothers to expose this nuanced and systemic problem
* Campaign for legislative change which will reduce discrimination and help to create gender parity both in the home and the workplace
* Talk publicly about the benefits of companies protecting pregnant women and mothers
To protect and support women we:
* Offer a free legal advice service
* Run a mentor programme which pairs women who have previously taken legal action against an employer with women who are considering legal action against their employer.
* Give women a safe, public platform to document their experiences. This is a cathartic process for the victims and offers solace to other working mothers.

Due to popular demand, Pregnant Then Screwed now also exists in the US and Spain.

Here is what some of our supporters say:

Despite it being illegal to discriminate against pregnant women and those on maternity leave, it is clear that the problem is huge and many working mums feel unable to tackle discriminatory behaviour. Pregnant Then Screwed cares deeply about working mums, it offers them a platform to tell their story, an opportunity to get free advice and friendship and support for those going through an Employment Tribunal. If we want women to be enabled to have both children and a career then we need organisations like Pregnant Then Screwed
Helen Skelton

PTS is a much needed organisation. It’s a disgrace that 77% of mums receive some sort of discrimination on their return to work after maternity leave. Documenting experiences, supporting and advising mums at this critical stage in their careers is a vital service that should not need to exist, but unfortunately it does. Massive respect to Joeli for starting the Pregnant Then Screwed campaign, please support her and the PTS team’s work to make this much needed change happen.
Dr Sue Black OBE

Joeli and the team at “Pregnant then screwed” are a formidable force for social justice , exposing the blatant discrimination that thousands of pregnant women workers still face day to day.
Angela Rayner MP

54000 women a year are forced from their jobs when they become pregnant. Pregnant Then Screwed provides the stories behind these statistics and shows how complex and devastating maternity discrimination is. At the Fawcett Society we work towards equal rights for women – something that will not be achieved until maternity discrimination is ended. Despite being illegal too many women still experience this unacceptable discrimination but may not even know it is illegal or be too scared or exhausted to fight. Pregnant then Screwed aims to help these women by advising them, mentoring them and bringing their stories to the government and media. There are too few organisations out there to help women at such a vulnerable time, it is fantastic that PTS exists as part of the fight to end the motherhood penalty
Sam Smethers, CEO Fawcett Society

The shocking rise in maternity discrimination over the past decade has been compounded by tribunal fees introduced by the last Conservative-led government that mean women can’t get justice. They can’t afford the £1200 it costs to take a discrimination case to a tribunal. As long as a small group of unscrupulous employers know they can get away with it, women will continue to face maternity discrimination.
I’m delighted PTS is supporting women who’ve been discriminated against to take their case to tribunal. These brave and determined women aren’t just fighting for themselves, they’re fighting for every pregnant woman or new mum who faces discrimination in her workplace.

Congratulations to PTS for this great initiative.
Kate Green MP
Member of Parliament for Stretford and Urmston

You can support this project by following @pregnantscrewed on Twitter, by telling your friends and networks about us, or by posting a story.

Pregnant Then Screwed in the media:

Mumsnet: Let’s share our stories and show how systemic maternity discrimination is  

The London Economic: Pregnant Then Screwed

One Chic Mom: Pregnant Then Screwed?

BBC: How Pregnancy can cost you your career 

Victoria Derbyshire show: Pregnant Then Screwed 

Lifeshifter: Exposing systemic pregnancy discrimination at work 

Telegraph: Pregnant then screwed over by work 

Guardian: Pregnant but screwed, the truth about pregnancy discrimination in the workplace 

The Inquisitr: Project reveals epidemic of pregnancy discrimination in the workplace 

Working Mums: Pregnant Then Screwed 

Radio 4: Woman’s Hour

Radio 5 Live: The Phil William’s show 

Working Families: A pregnant question for new ministers

Guardian: When a Pregnant Pause becomes more long term

Huffington Post: Don’t make excuses, Pregnancy and maternity discrimination must stop 

Stylist Magazine: “I was given 24 hours to resign” we unveil the shocking truth behind women’s experiences of maternity leave in Britain

Marie Claire: 1 in 10 women have been forced out of their jobs

The Fawcett Society: The Pregnant Pause in job security

Mother Pukka: Totally Screwed

Contact us

If you have any comments about this project, would like to add a link to the ‘Get Help’ section, or would like to tell me anything at all that you do not want to be posted, then email:

You can also follow the project on Twitter @pregnantscrewed

5 comments: On About

  • Excellent cause and I thought the discussion on BBC News this morning was fantastic. I was contacted to join the discussion but commitments meant I couldn’t. Happy to contribute in any other way I can.

    • Thanks Marie-Anne Lee – very kind of you to say! May I ask what you do?

    • Marie-Anne Lee

      Hi – sorry I have only just seen this message. I was a primary school teacher and was shocked to see how a system that is about putting the interests of the child at the heart of everything forgets this simple message for its own employees…

  • Pingback: A pregnant question for new ministers | workflex ()

  • I’ve noticed that many of the tactics that are used to get pregnant and post-partum women out are the same tactics employers use with staff who suffer from chronic illnesses and hidden disabilities. Imaginary performance issues suddenly come to light, people are lied to and coerced into a demotion and then made redundant when they are at their most vulnerable. Companies that abuse people like this know they are breaking the law and they don’t care.

    Most employees will accept the redundancy terms because they are afraid, they can’t afford court costs and they don’t know their rights. The few that fight back go through hell. A friend of mine was sacked during sick leave, she took her employer to court and won but she was left a complete wreck. The small settlement she won wasn’t worth being dragged through the mud in court, the pain of having to listen to ex-colleagues lying about her, etc…

    I left the UK some years ago because I had enough of living in such an unequal society. I don’t plan to ever return.

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