Pregnancy and Redundancy; Discrimination in the workplace
For pregnant women and those on maternity leave, protection both from unfair dismissal and unlawful discrimination due to pregnancy-related absence exists from day one of employment, regardless of the length of the absence.
To dismiss, make redundant or otherwise treat a woman in this situation less favourably in relation to a pay rise, promotion or training, is classed as pregnancy discrimination and the consequence for an employer of failure to comply is grounds for an employment tribunal claim for compensation, either for injury to feelings or for future loss of earnings and benefits which is uncapped.
A woman who is pregnant or on maternity leave can expect:
• First refusal on any suitable job vacancy
• The right to return to the same position following maternity leave even if this is deemed inconvenient by their employer
• To be considered for suitable alternative work (in preference to other employees)
• Equal rights whether employed on a part- or full-time basis unless there is a very good non-discriminatory reason
• To be consulted about redundancy or restructuring in the same way as other employees
An employer’s obligations towards a woman who is pregnant or on maternity leave:
• They must follow a fair procedure otherwise it may be classed as unfair dismissal
• They must offer suitable alternative employment (in preference to other employees) where her job is made redundant during maternity leave
• They must not treat a pregnant woman less favourably for a reason related to her pregnancy, e.g. absence or maternity leave
• They must not select a woman for redundancy for a reason related to her pregnancy
• They must not select a woman for redundancy because she is working part-time or flexibly unless there are very good objective reasons
Considering a Pregnancy Redundancy Claim?
If you believe that you have been subject to unfair dismissal or discrimination of this nature, call our team of experienced Pregnancy Discrimination Solicitors;
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