Workers fear pregnancy reaction

Almost half of working women are nervous about telling their boss they are pregnant because of the possible reaction, according to a new survey.

Even more are unclear about their maternity rights, amid fears that even asking about a company's policy could affect their career, the study of 1,000 working women found.

QualitySolicitors said its research revealed concerns about broaching the subject of motherhood in the workplace, suggesting a need for companies to make their policy openly available to staff.

Craig Holt of QualitySolicitors said: "In today's economic climate, women are understandably concerned about job security. Despite strong legal regulation to assist the employer and employee, a culture of 'don't ask, don't tell' has been allowed to develop.

"Women are not asking about their rights, and employers are not always communicating clearly what these rights are and where they can find them."