Olympic baby rule 'discriminatory'
New mothers who wish to take their babies to the Olympic Games may have a case for sex discrimination if they are prevented from doing so.
Rules set by 2012 organisers say every baby - including those who were not conceived when their parents bought seats - must have their own ticket or they will be excluded from the Games.
Expectant mothers have described the policy as "discriminatory", especially to those new mothers who will be breastfeeding.
Most tickets went on sale last April - 15 months before the Games. Expectant parents have been told they can try to buy an extra ticket for their chosen event, although there are concerns that none will be available for popular events, forcing mothers to stay at home.
Under the current rules, expectant parents who are successful in getting an extra ticket for their baby will be able to hold the infant in their laps. They will need to show the baby has a ticket for somewhere in the venue, even if they do not plan to use the seat.
On Wednesday night a spokesman for London 2012 said organisers would look again at the policy. He said: "Of course, we understand that some new mums may want to take their babies to events they have tickets to and we will look at what we can do when the remaining tickets go on sale in April."
The spokesman stressed that ticket guides and online information before tickets were sold said babies and children would need their own seats, but this information did not include a policy on babies conceived after their parents bought tickets.
The issue has attracted fury on the Mumsnet website, with parents saying they are being forced to pay full price for babies not yet born. Others said they could miss out altogether.
Ticketholder Rosalind Ereira told the Guardian she has contacted the Equality and Human Rights Commission (EHRC), which said she may have a case for "indirect sex discrimination", as the policy is more likely to affect women than men.
In a statement to the Guardian, the EHRC said: "A business must not do something which has a worse impact on you and on other people who share a particular protected characteristic, such as gender, than it has on people who do not share that characteristic. Unless the business can show that what they have done is objectively justified, this will be what is called indirect discrimination."