Rights for Working Parents and Carers

8. Employment and Dismissal

8.1 Dismissing somebody pregnant is automatically unfair, and almost certainly discriminatory if the dismissal is due to pregnancy, or any reason connected with it.

  • The employee has the right to be given written reasons, without having to ask, if she is dismissed at any time during pregnancy or statutory maternity leave.
  • If a tribunal finds you have dismissed your employee unfairly, the basic award can be up to £13,500. But a tribunal can also award compensation for financial loss up to a maximum of £74,200.
  • If a tribunal finds your actions amounted to sex discrimination, it can make an unlimited compensation award, including an award for injury to feelings.

8.2 If you are making someone redundant during pregnancy or maternity leave, you must be able to show that your selection criteria are absolutely objective and fair and in no way affected by the pregnancy or maternity leave.

  • This is so hard to prove that you should avoid making anyone in this situation redundant, unless the reason is very clear.A woman on maternity leave has the right to be offered a suitable job on her return, or the right to a redundancy payment.

8.3 Deciding not to employ or promote a woman because she is pregnant — or because she may become pregnant — is sex discrimination.

BHP Infosolutions

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