The unexpected side-effect of pregnancy: discrimination

The unexpected side-effect of pregnancy: discrimination

49% of women experience pregnancy discrimination or parental discrimination in the workplace.

Knowing your rights can help you keep your job. Victoria Legal Aid produced this video in collaboration with its clients to raise awareness of pregnancy and parental discrimination.

All of the quotes in this video were made by real employers to Victoria Legal Aid's clients, some of whom feature in the video. 

Watch the video

*The figures in this video were informed by the Australian Human Rights Commission's Headline Prevalence Data report (see footnote 8).

More information

For more information on your rights, see Pregnancy and parental discrimination at work

Victoria Legal Aid encourages you to distribute this video through your networks. You are not permitted to modify or edit the video and any reproduction of the video must include attribution of Victorian Legal Aid as the copyright owner.


[Quiet piano music plays]

Text: A baby is born every two minutes in Australia

[Jane enters the office and sits down behind the desk.]

Voice of male employer (off screen): ‘Thanks for coming in Jane. Take a seat’.

[The door closes]

[Sound of door latch clicking]

Text: Half of their mums experience workplace discrimination

[Jane listens to what is being said to her, she looks shocked by what she hears.]

Woman 1 (off screen): ‘You should just do whatever work you can find and focus on raising your children’.

Woman 2 (off screen): ‘We’ve already hired someone else to replace you’.

Text: These are real women’s stories of discrimination

Woman 1: ‘Our normal business hours are 8.00am to 6.00pm and if you can’t do those hours, then it is just not going to work’.

Woman 2: ‘You will need to start your maternity leave early’.

Woman 3: ‘Yeah, it is too much of an unknown for us’.

Woman 4: ‘Your position has been made redundant’.

Woman 1: ‘You won’t be able to perform at such a high level, 6 weeks before your due date’.

Woman: ‘Are you sure you want to have the baby’?

Text: 110,000 women experience pregnancy or parental discrimination each year

Text: Just 1 in 10 seek advice

Voiceover: ‘You have rights. You don’t need to go to Court to raise them. Knowing the law can help you keep your job’.

[Jane begins to look relieved and quietly determined.]

Male voiceover: Take action to protect your job and your family. Speak to a lawyer. It is easy, free and confidential.

[Jane smiles]

Woman 1 : ‘110,000 women each year –’.

Woman 2: ‘Help make pregnancy discrimination...’

Woman 3: ‘..difficult to ignore’

Woman 4: ‘Know your rights’.

Logo: Victoria Legal Aid: Lawyers and Legal Services

Text: Know your rights – visit our website:

Text: © 2014 Victoria Legal Aid. Authorised and published by Victoria Legal Aid, 350 Queen Street, Melbourne Vic 3000

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