everything employers need to know

According to INSEE figures, women are entering the labor market later due to the increased level of qualifications: the employment rate of women aged 25 to 49 has increased the most in recent years, at 84.2% in 2010. According to the statistics institute, however, most will French women aged between 25 and 34 mothers. This explains why they experience motherhood more than they used to when looking for a job.

According to the Ombudsman’s 10th Barometer on Perceptions of Discrimination in Employment, pregnancy and maternity are the third reason for discrimination cited by women (7%).

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“We still make too many decisions where women are not hired because they are pregnant, unable to find a job after returning from maternity leave, or whose probationary period is terminated because of pregnancy. It’s appalling and illegal.”warns human rights defender Claire Hédon, who decided to publish on Monday March 7th a guide aimed at preventing this discrimination by informing actors in the world of work and providing victims with the legal means to counteract actions. .

What are the different manifestations of pregnancy discrimination?

discrimination in recruitment

In the job posting

The Guide recalls that no job offer “ mention the gender or marital status of the candidate sought”, pursuant to Article L.1142-1 of the Labor Code. An employer who publishes a discriminatory advertisement will be sentenced to three years’ imprisonment and a fine of 45,000 euros.

During the interview

With regard to the interview, Article 1225-2 of the Labor Code provides that a “A woman applying for a job is not required to disclose her pregnancy status unless she is applying for the benefit of the statutory provisions protecting pregnant women.” It is also illegal to solicit information about the candidate’s current or future pregnancy status.

After all, no recruiter can refuse to hire a candidate because of their gender, family situation or pregnancy.

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Discrimination during the execution of the employment contract

The case of the probationary period

Although the employer can normally terminate the employment contract before the end of the probationary period without justifying his decision, there are special provisions on the probationary period for pregnant employees: the Labor Code prohibits the company from taking them into account “Pregnancy condition of a woman to break her employment contract during a probationary period”.

return from maternity leave

After returning from maternity leave, the employee must return to her previous position or a comparable position. The only possible reason for not reinstating the worker in her position or in an equivalent position is that the previous employment is incompatible with a desire of the worker to have flexible working hours after her return from maternity leave.

The remuneration paid to the worker upon her return from maternity leave must also be at least equal to that received before her departure. Article L.1225-26 of the Labor Code provides for a salary catch-up mechanism, namely that the salary must be at the end of maternity leave “Increased by the general salary increases and by the average of the individual salary increases received by employees of the same profession during the period of this leave, or failing that, by the average of the salary increases in the company. »

refusal of a promotion

The Guide also recalls that refusing to give an employee a promotion because she is on maternity leave is discriminatory.

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Cases of discriminatory harassment

The text also recalls that discriminatory harassment is characterized when the dignity of the person is violated and a humiliating and degrading climate is created for them. These discriminatory comments or actions can take several forms:

  • Bullying, insults, humiliation
  • Discriminatory remarks related to pregnancy, gender and/or family situation
  • Unfounded Disciplinary Penalties
  • deterioration of working conditions
  • separation and isolation.

Discrimination leading to the termination of the employment or cooperation contract

The early termination of the fixed-term employment contract or the non-renewal of the fixed-term employment contract, if the contract contains a renewal clause, cannot be based on an inadmissible reason, such as B. pregnancy, are supported.

In the case of a permanent employment contract, Article 1225-4 of the Labor Code protects the worker from dismissal as soon as her pregnancy is medically confirmed (and her employer is aware of it) and up to ten weeks later her return from maternity leave or paid leave taken immediately after the maternity leave was taken.

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