Women illegally asked about pregnancy plans during job interviews

January 16th, 2014

This article is more than 9 years old.

25 percent of women aged 31-40 said they had been asked during job interviews about motherhood plans

Women are being regularly asked during job interviews about their plans to have children, reports Politiken newspaper. Asking job applicants about their parenthood plans is illegal.

According to a study by the union HK, 17 percent of all women surveyed answered that they had been asked about their plans to have children, while 25 percent of women aged 31-40 said they had been asked.

“It’s a surprisingly high number and I think it is due to the fact that employers are ignorant about asking questions about planned children during job interviews,” HK deputy chairman Mette Kindberg told Politiken.

READ MORE: Pregnant workers report growing discrimination

Illegal questioning
Employers are not allowed to ask women about their plans to have children if the question affects who they choose to employ.

Women who fail to get jobs after saying they planned to have children soon are entitled to sue on grounds of discrimination.

“If the problem is as big as the study suggests, then HK should be much more active to push [discrimination] cases,” Lise Bardenfleth, a chief consultant at the Danish employer’s association (DA), told Politiken, adding that there were few good reasons for employers to ask about a woman’s plans to have children.

READ MORE: Men seeking right to judicial abortions

Legal action
Kindberg, however, argues that discrimination cases are often difficult to prove.

“How do we prove that the applicant would have gotten the job if the employer had not asked the question about planned pregnancies? Often only the applicant and the employer are present during job interviews," Kindberg said. "We would prefer that employers were better informed about the rules.” 


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