Joeli Brearley On Maternity Discrimination And The Motherhood Penalty

Imagine a world where women don’t lose their jobs, or miss out on promotions, because they’re pregnant or have just had a baby. I can’t even picture it, because so many women experience maternity discrimination, today, in 2021. My guest on this episode, Joeli Brearley, lost her job the day after she told her employer she was pregnant and went onto launch the charity and campaigning group Pregnant Then Screwed.

Joeli is a mum of two and campaigns for better rights for pregnant women and mothers, including asking for three months’ ring-fenced parental leave for both parents at 90% of salary, properly subsidised childcare from six months old and increasing the time limit to raise a tribunal claim from three months to six months.

Her book Pregnant Then Screwed: The Truth About the Motherhood Penalty and How to Fix It is a must-read expose of the practices and systems that force women out of their jobs because they’re having or have had a baby, and about how we can challenge them and demand a fairer, level playing field.

Joeli talks to me about her own experiences of losing her job while pregnant, why expecting mothers to raise a tribunal claim within three months when they’re in a vulnerable place is unacceptable and why it’s critical that the government invest properly in the childcare system. We also talk about flexible working and how the pandemic has affected it.

** Pregnant Then Screwed are currently running a campaign with Grazia to ask the government to commission an independent review of childcare funding and affordability. Sign it here: **

You can follow Pregnant Then Screwed on Twitter and Instagram, check out their website and buy Joeli’s book here. For advice on employment rights, call their helpline on 0161 222 9879.


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Not Another Mummy Podcast is brought to you by me, journalist and author Alison Perry. I'm a mum of three and I love interviewing people about parenthood on the podcast. You can check out my other episodes and you can come chat to me on Instagram: @iamalisonperry or on Twitter: @iamalisonperry. You can buy my book OMG It's Twins now.


Producer: Imogen Hart

Music: Epidemic Sound

Artwork: Eleanor Bowmer

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