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Probe looks at treatment of mums in the workplace

Gail Bell

A

BELFAST mother who felt forced out of her managerial job after maternity leave has backed the Equality Commission's first formal investigation into treatment of pregnant women and mothers in the workplace.

Sineád Morgan (24) was refused part-time employment when she returned to work at River Island following maternity leave last year.

Speaking at the launch of the investigation yesterday, she encouraged other new mums to take action if they feel they have been treated unfairly.

"I had been working with River Island for five years and I enjoyed my work and wanted to continue with the company but in a part-time capacity," she said.

"I was really hurt when I was informed that I couldn't return to my own post. I felt I had no option but to resign."

Ms Morgan said she was offered another position but to a post two grades below.

Her case was supported by the commission and she lodged an official complaint with the Industrial Tribunal.

The case was settled before hearing and the company paid Ms Morgan £4,500 while pledging to review its flexible working practices.

The investigation, which begins on Monday, will be led by Lyn McBriar and Anna Carragher who will hear the experiences of women who are or were in employment during all or part of their pregnancies during the last five years.

The report's findings are due to be published next year.

* FELT FORCED TO RESIGN: Sinéad Morgan (24)

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