Maternity Discrimination

 Maternity Discrimination Claims

Employers are not allowed to treat women unfavourably on account of taking maternity leave or even asking for their maternity leave. But if they do so, then this could lead to a maternity discrimination claim. For example, if a woman is selected for redundancy because she is on maternity leave, or if she is passed over for a promotion opportunity because of her maternity leave, this could count as maternity discrimination.
Your maternity rights
Women are accorded certain rights when it comes to maternity:
    • You are entitled to one year’s maternity leave no matter how long you have worked at the company;
    • statutory maternity pay lasts for 39 weeks, providing you meet the terms required [see below];
  • you have compulsory maternity leave of two weeks following the birth of your baby
Refusal of your maternity rights
If a woman is denied any of these rights or otherwise treated wrongly as a result of them, it counts as discrimination. For instance, if an employer dismisses a woman because they say that they cannot afford to pay for her maternity leave, this is discrimination.
Statutory maternity pay is paid to women who have been with their employer for at least 26 weeks by the 15thweek of their pregnancy. If an employer dismisses a woman because of her pregnancy, they will still be required to pay for her statutory maternity pay – if they don’t, it would be another case of discrimination.
Maternity discrimination is a complex area of law and often a very sensitive one, so if you feel you have been unfairly discriminated against due to maternity leave, it is definitely worth seeking specialist legal advice immediately- and if you do have a valid claim, to start the process of your maternity discrimination claim as soon as possible.
If you have suffered from maternity discrimination – we will try to negotiate a settlement from your employer, but if it is not possible, you may have to take the case to an Employment Tribunal, where you will have to prove that you were discriminated against by your employer because of an issue related to your maternity leave.
If you’re thinking of making an employment tribunal claim for maternity discrimination, there is a very tightly enforced three months time limit to do so. So if you believe that you were the victim of maternity discrimination, contact us as soon as possible;
  • FREEPHONE 0800 1404544
  • For FREE initial phone advice, call us on 0800 1404544 or
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