NMN Petition: Add Reproductive Status as a Protected Characteristic

As you may be aware, a few weeks ago I had an article published in the Daily Mail outlining the imbalance that exists in the workplace, favouring parents when it comes to benefits, flexibility and the annual leave hierarchy.

Nothing could have prepared me for the response I received – the piece went viral and I was deluged with messages from non-parents all over the world reaching out to share their experiences of discrimination in the workplace, begging for something to change.

I was invited onto BBC Woman’s Hour, Radio 5 Live and various podcasts, and the topic was debated on several prime-time tv shows. A mum wrote a response piece in the same newspaper outlining why parents SHOULD get preferential treatment:


Journalists wrote related follow-up pieces across many publications, such as this one:

One thing that struck me was how a lot of mums turned my piece into being purely about them, and how hard it is to be a parent. Many of them missed (or chose to ignore!) the point I was making about the plight of childless/childfree people in the workplace and the impact on our physical and mental health and lives in general of constantly being expected to pick up the slack. This blinkered response only drove it home even more: non-parents as a minority group need to speak out, stick up for ourselves and strive for change in society! 

I began to do more research on this topic, and found similar articles to mine going back more than a decade. Nothing has improved for non-parents in that time – if anything, things have got worse. Parents make up 82% of the adult population, including most company bosses, and the childless minority are silenced into submission. We wouldn’t allow people to treat disabled or gay employees like this – and rightly so – so why is it ok to treat the childless this way?

I decided that, having ignited this passionate debate and hearing the plight of non-parents globally, I HAD to take action. I decided to start a petition to raise awareness of the discrimination non-parents face in the workplace, and to try and get reproductive status added to the Equality Act 2010 as a protected characteristic. 

Whilst researching stats for this petition I came across this 2022 study, which is jam-packed with facts and figures from almost 1000 respondents, interestingly 80% of whom were parents. It makes for very interesting reading, I’m sure you’ll agree…


By making reproductive status a protected characteristic, we can ensure both parents AND non-parents are protected in the workplace, which has to be a win for everybody, right?

Please sign the petition by clicking here if you agree


NMN Socials: 

Facebook group: The Non-Mum Network

Facebook page: The Non-Mum Network