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

Global Talent

On 20th February 2020 the Home Office will open the new Global Talent (GT) immigration category to new applicants from around the World. This is a further step in the development of an immigration system that is fit for purpose on 1 January 2021 when the UK leaves the EU Single Market. Replacing Tier 1…

Read More
Fast Track Visa

Brexit -What Happens Next?

An Historic Moment After three and a half years of extraordinary political tension and debate, the United Kingdom formally left the European Union on 31 January 2020, at 11pm. The British Parliament finally ratified a Withdrawal Agreement (“WA”) with the EU via the European Union (Withdrawal Agreement) Act 2020 in January. The European Parliament, in…

Read More

Migration Advisory Committee Report Published

The Migration Advisory Committee (“MAC”) have now published their report on “A Points-Based System and Salary Thresholds for Immigration”. Background In June 2019 the May Government commissioned the MAC to review the mechanisms for calculating future salary thresholds for employer sponsorship of workers from outside the Resident Labour Market. It also asked the MAC to…

Read More