UK Survey Suggests Baby-making Potential Hurts Interviewees

April 22, 2008 ( - Results of a survey from a UK legal advisory firm shows more than three-quarters (76%) of bosses would not hire a female if they knew she would become pregnant within six months of starting the job.

The Liverpool Daily Post reports that the survey commissioned by Manchester-based Employment Law Advisory Services (ELAS) found that, during the selection process, 52% of respondents will weigh the chances of a candidate getting pregnant, taking into account age and whether they have just got married. Of the 1,100 bosses and personnel managers of both sexes that were polled, 68% said they would like more rights to quiz candidates about their plans for a family.

In addition, the survey found only 5% of the bosses have employed someone knowing the candidate is pregnant, and 86% said they would feel cheated if someone started a job and announced within weeks they were pregnant.

ELAS commissioned the study after noticing it was dealing with an increase in the number of cases involving pregnancy and new employees, including cases where candidates were asked in interview if they had plans for a family – something banned under sex discrimination law – and cases where jobs were withdrawn between the interview and starting work because of a pregnancy.

Peter Mooney, head of consultancy at ELAS, pointed out that while a pregnant member of staff will cost money, a visit to a tribunal can be even more costly.