The Labour Ministry has taken three employers to court for violating laws protecting maternity and pregnant women, Labour Minister Zeta Emilianidou said on Thursday.
Addressing a conference on the Protection of Maternity organised by the Equal Rights Committee she said during 2017 the ministry had received 17 complaints in these two categories and in three of these employers have been charged.
She said she hoped the conclusions of the forum will help improve the current situation by pinpointing possible weaknesses in the law or in the procedure followed in investigating complaints or paying maternity benefits.
She said many of the cases heard by the Labour Tribunal concern cases in which the Equal Rights Committee had offered independent legal aid.
And she said that a number of surveys show that many women face discrimination because of pregnancy or maternity, either at the hiring stage — where they may be passed over –or with dismissal or change of their employment terms when pregnant. They may also face discrimination when renewing their contract if they are pregnant, or when they return to work after maternity leave.
Only one in women with a complaint actually submit one, with most believing that it would not bring any results, she added.