Open Navigation

Pregnancy and Maternity

Protecting the rights of mothers

Women are protected against unfavourable treatment and discrimination from the start of their pregnancy to the end of their maternity leave. This is known as the “protected period”, and applies to job applicants as well as existing workers

The protection afforded to pregnant women or women on maternity leave applies from the start of pregnancy to the end of maternity leave. This is known as the “protected period.” The protection applies to job applicants as well as existing workers and employees.

An employer must not discriminate against a woman during the protected period because of any illnesses that she suffers from as a result of her pregnancy or maternity. For example, an employer may wish to record that absences are because of pregnancy or maternity but not include them when it comes to reviewing her attendance for disciplinary purposes.

It is unlawful to treat a woman unfavourably because she is on compulsory maternity leave, or because she is seeking to or exercising her right to ordinary or additional maternity leave. Banter, for example about pregnant employees going ‘on holiday’ rather than maternity leave would be an example, as would overlooking someone for a bonus, promotion of other career opportunity.

There are additional protections offered to pregnant women or those on maternity leave during redundancy situations. For example, an employer must ensure that those on maternity leave are properly consulted about the redundancy situation and that that redundancy selection criteria does not discriminate. This could mean that absences connected with pregnancy and maternity should not be included. In addition, if someone on ordinary or additional maternity leave is potentially going to be made redundant, she is entitled to be offered any suitable available vacancy in priority to other potentially redundant employees.

News

Fraud, Tricks and Scams – Protect Yourself!

In this digital day and age, none of us are safe from fraudsters, tricksters, and scammers – not even the Home Office. It is therefore important to know how to spot a potential scam and protect yourself from releasing information to any unverified, or even criminal, individuals. The Home Office have published new guidance to…

Read More

Spotlight on APAC Series: Hong Kong

In our spotlight on APAC series, we round up the latest developments from across Asia Pacific.  In this post we capture some notable points about the recently introduced investment scheme in Hong Kong. The Hong Kong Government has launched the New Capital Investment Entrant Scheme (“New CIES”), a program designed to attract individuals, create more…

Read More

Spotlight on APAC Series: New Zealand

As part of the mitigating measures to combat non-compliant employers, Immigration New Zealand will now be permitted to issue infringement notices effective 11 April 2024.  Immigration New Zealand can issue notices for violation acts ranging from employers who do not comply with visa requirements, through to employing a person unlawfully in the country.   The issuance…

Read More