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Pregnancy and redundancy

(46 Posts)
sweetandsaltypopcorn Mon 03-Apr-17 18:10:52

I posted this is employment issues but had no response.

Not sure if this is the best place to post this but there is more traffic!

It was announced yesterday to the company that there are going to be redundancies across the company and I am in one of the affected teams.

They haven't announced who will be made redundant yet.

I have only been with the company 18 months and so won't qualify for any redundancy pay.

I'm also 8 weeks pregnant. I hadn't told them yet as obviously wanted to make sure all was ok first but now I don't know whether I should or not. I don't think it'll protect me as such as this was obviously planned a while back and my OH thinks if I tell them now they will use it as an excuse to chose me as I would be leaving anyway and they'd have to pay mat leave.

If I don't say anything and I am chosen. I don't think I'll be able to get another job in time to qualify for smp.

Pretty rubbish times at the moment.

BellyBean Mon 03-Apr-17 18:42:09

What's your notice period and how long do you think the process will take? You qualify for mat pay at 25 weeks if you're still employed. Do you think it'll take that long incl notice period?

Figgygal Mon 03-Apr-17 18:44:35

You would have additional protection from redundancy if on mat leave but not because of pregnancy.
Is the intention to score you against others and reduce team size or remove roles completely?

Figgygal Mon 03-Apr-17 18:45:59

Sorry posted too soon

If you being scored and absence is used as a criteria they would have to remove any pg related absence you may have had so if you have had any might be worth mentioning it to them

AbbeyRoadCrossing Mon 03-Apr-17 18:51:57

Maternity action are good for this sort of thing
www.maternityaction.org.uk/advice-2/mums-dads-scenarios/pregnant/redundancy-during-pregnancy-and-maternity-leave/

Depends how long the process takes. There's usually a consultation period plus your notice should take you to week 25? If not if you've been working you are likely to qualify for maternity allowance

SnookieSnooks Mon 03-Apr-17 18:51:59

I was made redundant while on maternity leave..... company paid me handsomely to not take them to court. I think it is the same situation if you are pregnant, isn't it?

You need some proper advice quickly. Any employment lawyers on here?

MimiSunshine Mon 03-Apr-17 18:53:28

How many people are affected by the announcement?

If it's over 20 then you have to go into a (minimum of) 30 day consultation period before you can be made redundant. 100 people or more it's 45 days minimum.

Have you seen your run your midwife or have your scan booked? If I were you I'd try and get it done as soon as possible. Maybe consider a private scan at 10 wks if it's likely yours is going to be quite late (my friend was over 14 wks by the time of her dating scan due to a baby boom).
Then at least you know where you are with regards to the pregnancy.

With regards to redundancy, are all the affected teams made up of similar roles so is it likely that they'll be reducing the head count and those affected will have to reapply for their role?

Unless the company is going bust they have to st least let you apply for another role in the business if there are any so I'd probably keep quiet for now and hold out for either a longish process or another role you can apply for

Pigface1 Mon 03-Apr-17 18:53:35

I think it's worth mentioning to them.

Your OH is wrong in the sense that they can't 'use it as an excuse' to choose you. You can't be made redundant because you are pregnant. He might be right if he thinks that it will make you a more attractive option for redundancy.

In any event, if you tell them, they will have to be extremely careful to make it clear that they are not choosing you because you are pregnant. Conversely that may put them off choosing you.

sweetandsaltypopcorn Mon 03-Apr-17 20:25:42

Thanks for all of your replies. It's a really bad situation.

There will be about 10-12 redundancies across departments.

I get the impression it will be sooner rather than later.

My notice period is 3 months, however from what I read on the gov website I don't think they have to give me that much notice for redundancy?

I've seen a midwife but that's about it. I haven't had a scan date or anything.

I've had two days off sick this year which was pregnancy related but they wouldn't know that.

I'm not sure what the selection process will be. Knowing the place it will be a popularity contest and who's most 'in' with management.

sweetandsaltypopcorn Mon 03-Apr-17 20:27:08

Sorry to answer the question it's about reducing team sizes not roles specifically

CPParenttoDD1234 Mon 03-Apr-17 20:33:17

Hi OP

I am currently 30 weeks pregnant and was made redundant 3 weeks ago. It's very very stressful I know.

What I would do is explain you are pregnant - as a pregnant woman you are a protected employee and therefore it is harder to make you redundant although not impossible.

If they terminate your contract it's the same notice period so three months which will take you to about 22weeks. So won't qualify for SMP I would drag it out as long as possible to the final consultation and hopefully you will nip in to the beginning of the 25th week

They can not choose you over someone else for pregnancy as it is sex discrimination and will win at tribunal (I'm currently going through this process - it's not great). To be honest the best thing they can do is keep you on simply because you are protected and it's very hard to justify making a pregnant women redundant if a male equivalent or non pregnant women gets the job. So all in all tell them ASAP.

good luck - and don't get stressed as it's not worth it. smile

SomethingBorrowed Mon 03-Apr-17 21:08:36

Using your pregnancy to save tour position, knowing it will mean someone else will loose theirs as a result is really not why maternity protection has been setup.
If you believe you are made redundant because you are pregnant then go for it, otherwise you are being dishonest.

peaCOCKness Mon 03-Apr-17 21:22:23

Check out Pregnantthenscrewed they have a free legal helpline and helped me massively

Sunshinegirl82 Mon 03-Apr-17 21:32:16

Employment lawyer here. Would you plan to return to the job after your mat leave op? Just thinking about whether there was any scope for a deal if you volunteer for redundancy? I think I'd be inclined to tell them if things look like they will move quickly. Have they given you any indication as to a time line?

sweetandsaltypopcorn Mon 03-Apr-17 21:36:22

@sunshinegirl - yes I would want to return the plan was always to return. They offered slightly enhanced mat leave pay with you returning to the company.

It sounds like they are conducting meetings over the next 5 days but unsure as to what will actually happen.

I'm worried if I tell them then they will chose me as I would be going off on mat leave anyway.

TotalPineapple Mon 03-Apr-17 21:38:57

I'd tell them, because your two pregnancy related sick days cannot be used against you, but otherwise may be counted against you iyswim.

Sunshinegirl82 Mon 03-Apr-17 21:57:25

There are two ways of looking at it. You can keep quiet and know that whatever decision they make will be unaffected by the pregnancy. If you're not selected all well and good. If they do select you there will be very little you can do about it unless there are errors in the process elsewhere.

If you plan on this option I would try to delay things as much as possible to try and get far enough into the pregnancy by the time you leave to qualify for mat pay.

If you tell them then it will make things a bit more tricky for them. If they do select you it would be possible for you to look to claim that they selected you due to the pregnancy which would obviously be discriminatory. I'm not saying you would actually say this (unless you felt it to be true) but they may fear it and avoid selecting you as a result.

Obviously we don't know how the pregnancy will be viewed by them, they may decide it's worth using this as a "legitimate" opportunity to end the employment relationship and avoid the mat pay issue in spite of the potential risks of a claim by you.

There isn't a "right" answer it's a risk balancing exercise. I think on balance telling them probably gives you more options overall but it's completely up to you.

For what it's worth in the vast majority of redundancies the business goes into the process with a pretty clear idea of who will exit.

How long have the others who are at risk been there? They may consider selecting you because you have less than two years service and so on the face of it cannot bring an unfair dismissal claim. Knowing about the pregnancy may alter this as there is no qualifying period required to bring a claim of pregnancy related discrimination.

cheminotte Mon 03-Apr-17 22:04:52

I would tell them. It gives you additional protection and should put you to the bottom of the list of people being made redundant.
If an entire grade is going it doesn't help but if its a few at each level, you should automatically get one of the available roles.

BusyBeez99 Mon 03-Apr-17 22:13:02

It's pretty poor that if you announce you are pregnant that you are more protected. it shouldn't make any difference. Should be who is up to the job.

contractor6 Mon 03-Apr-17 22:24:06

The OP has had two pregnancy related sick days which could count against her unless she tells them and becomes a protected employee.

BusyBeez99 Mon 03-Apr-17 22:27:29

Then just the two sick days should be dis-counted but everything else should be based on how they all score not that OP is now bottom of list because pregnant.

specialsubject Mon 03-Apr-17 22:50:33

If it is more than a few I'd assume that the company may not last long anyway.

cheminotte Tue 04-Apr-17 07:11:54

Busy if the OP is made redundant before starting maternity leave she will lose her entitlement to maternity pay and find it very difficult to get another job while pregnant. Of course she should be treated differently.

sweetandsaltypopcorn Tue 04-Apr-17 08:16:04

Whilst I don't want special treatment as such I need to protect myself and what will happen given that I am pregnant. I cannot be in a situation whereby I am pregnant and then not eligible to any mat pay. I've gone from being entitled to enhanced mat pay to potentially nothing.

araiwa Tue 04-Apr-17 08:28:49

if you use your pregnancy to avoid redundancy, be prepared for everyone on your team to hate you

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