Pregnancy discrimination is a subdivision of sex discrimination. Discriminating against pregnant women in the UK workplace is widespread. Thousands of women every year effectively find their employment terminated because upon return to work in Birmingham they find another person is in their old position, carrying out their previous duties. There are many types of discrimination involving pregnancy and some of those practices commonly reported to our solicitors include:
It is unlawful for employers to terminate employment for any reason exclusively relating to pregnancy. Maternity leave is a guaranteed statutory right and if any employer refuses continued employment after maternity leave, it is grounds for a solicitor to claim compensation for unfair dismissal in the Birmingham Employment Tribunal. Compensation awards resulting from wrongful termination of employment because of pregnancy have no cap meaning that damages cam be be significant. The is no requirement for a minimum period of employment and the employer bears the responsibility of justifying any termination as lawful.
Redundancy occurs if a worker’s services or skills are not needed any longer because of an altered business plan or if the business is closing down. Individuals must be confirmed for redundancy for fair and logical reasons. Any woman selected for dismissal under redundancy during pregnancy or maternity leave may not necessarily have been targeted because she might just be a part of a fair process. When the redundancy is truly legitimate, it doesn’t matter if she is pregnant or on maternity leave and it is not unfair dismissal.
When a similar job is open within the business, the employee selected for redundancy must be offered that alternative position, with no requirement for interview or application. Circumstances in which a similar open position exists and no offer is made, will amount to an unfair dismissal. When a suitable alternative position or job is offered and rejected, then the worker loses her eligibility for redundancy compensation.
The majority of redundancy situations are legitimate; however an employer may use redundancy as a cover or sham to terminate a woman's employment because of pregnancy. This scenario amounts to unfair dismissal which can lead to a solicitors application for compensation in the Birmingham Employment Tribunal.
Employers are legally allowed to suspend a pregnant employee for two lawful explicit reasons. The first legal reason for suspension is to safeguard her safety and health. The second lawful reason for suspension is if she is on permanent night-shift. The employee must receive full wages during suspension. Before considering suspension, the worker must first be offered suitable substitute work within the business. Employees who unreasonably refuse suitable alternative work may forfeit their right to full wages during suspension.