Rashida is a mother of two and wants to return to the workforce. At a job interview Rashida is asked what she'll do if her children are sick. She's told that the company doesn't want to hire a woman with young children because they're more likely to take carer's leave. 

Rashida is being treated unfavourably because she is a parent. That's discrimination.

It is against the law to discriminate against anyone in the workplace because they are a parent or carer.

That includes asking questions at a job interview for information that is then used to discriminate against the candidate.

What does the law say about discrimination because of being a parent or carer?

It is against the law to discriminate against you at work because you have children or need to care for someone.

It is also against the law to request information during a job interview about your personal background or characteristics – such as your age, marital status or parental status – and then refuse you a job based on this information.

Employers must seriously consider any request for flexible work arrangements from workers who have children or people who depend on them for care – they can’t just say no on the spot.

Working part time, job sharing, working from home, or starting and finishing earlier or later are all examples of flexible work arrangements.

Employers can only refuse such a request on reasonable business grounds.


Download free resources about parental and carer status from the Commission, or visit our webpage about parental and carer status discrimination in the workplace for more information.

Contact us

In some cases there might be an exception. If you want to find out more about discrimination because of parental or carer status Contact us