NUJ “concerned and disappointed” that new mothers who lost out on Covid-aid payments will not be paid 

  • 24 Nov 2021

The Court of Appeal has ruled that self-employed women on maternity leave were indirectly discriminated against.

About 75,000 self-employed women who took maternity leave lost out under the way the government Covid-19 aid package was calculated, and were indirectly discriminated against the Court of Appeal has ruled.

The campaign group Pregnant Then Screwed sought a judicial review – supported by unions including the National Union of Journalists --  against the chancellor, Rishi Sunak. The High Court had ruled that the Self-Employment Income Support Scheme (SEISS) was not discriminatory, but this was partly overturned by the court of appeal on Wednesday 25 November.

But the women will not be able to recoup the money they lost out on during this period.

David Ayrton, NUJ freelance & digital national organiser, said:

“The Court of Appeal judgment that the British government’s calculations for payments to new mothers from the SEISS who were detrimentally impacted by Covid-19 conditions were discriminatory is welcome. Nevertheless, it is of concern and extremely disappointing that the court accepted discriminatory practice in this instance, on the basis that the calculations were made in conditions of urgency.

"This position is unacceptable as it is the responsibility of the government to ensure that its policies and their implementation do not discriminate against certain groups of people. In this case it caused real hardship to many new mothers.

“The NUJ was happy to support the action Pregnant Then Screwed took on this issue and will continue to fight for the rights of women workers.”

UK Covid scheme indirectly discriminated against maternity leave takers, court rules

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