If you are pregnant in Australia, beware: a new government report reveals appalling holes in the job protections supposedly afforded to women taking maternity leave. Pat McDonough, a co-author of the report called A Pregnant Pause, said a "'culture of antagonism' towards pregnant women workers and women on maternity leave is alive and well". In the economic downturn, these women workers would be more vulnerable than ever. "They're a soft touch," she said, "especially women on maternity leave who are out of sight."
Although Australian women have had job protection following maternity leave for 30 years, half of the women surveyed had nevertheless lost their jobs, were offered inferior positions or part-time work.
McDonogh sums it up quite nicely: "Everyone thinks the laws will protect them but in lots of cases the law means squat."