It is against the law for an employer to treat a woman unfavourably because she is pregnant, has pregnancy-related sickness, or is on maternity leave, or has taken maternity leave.
Common examples of discrimination include:
- Not offering the same training or promotion opportunities to a woman because she is pregnant or on maternity leave
- Treating a woman unfavourably because she has pregnancy-related sickness
- Dismissing a woman on maternity leave shortly before she is due to return to work (or after she returns) and keeping the person covering her maternity leave on instead
- Making a woman redundant because she is pregnant, or for reasons related to her maternity leave
The question you should ask is ‘would I have received the same unfavourable treatment if I had not been pregnant or on maternity leave?’ If not, you are likely to have experienced discrimination.
The law protects job applicants and all workers, no matter how long they have worked – so a worker is protected from day one in the job. The employment tribunal deadline for bringing a claim is three months less one day from the discrimination so it is best to contact a lawyer within that time if possible.
Our specialist employment lawyers are experts in maternity, pregnancy, flexible and part-time working law. Our lawyers all have substantial experience in advising people about potential claims. We regularly advise employees about issues which arise during pregnancy and maternity leave such as:
We listen carefully to what our clients want and we offer advice which is carefully tailored to each client’s situation. This ranges from giving behind the scenes support to a woman who wants to stay in her job and negotiate a solution with her employer, through helping write a grievance, to bringing a claim where the employee has reached the end of the road with the employment relationship. We often settle employment law claims and we aim to secure substantial compensation, but where a client wants to litigate we fight hard and are not afraid of the opposition.