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Pregnancy, Maternity and Paternity

Pregnancy and Maternity (including Paternity) is a Protected Characteristic of the Equality Act (2010).

EHRC Equality Act (2010) protected characteristic definition: definition:

Pregnancy is the condition of being pregnant or expecting a baby. Maternity refers to the period after the birth, and is linked to maternity leave in the employment context. In the non-work context, protection against maternity discrimination is for 26 weeks after giving birth, and this includes treating a woman unfavourably because she is breastfeeding.


Previous legislation:
The Sex Discrimination Act 1975 (as amended) has been revoked as parts of the Equality Act (2010) commenced.  Much of the Act was revoked in October 2010 and the Gender Equality Duty was revoked on 6 April 2011.

Further relevant webpages:




Human Resources

University of St Andrews
Walter Bower House

St Andrews
KY16 0US
Scotland, United Kingdom

Tel: +44(0)1334 463096