I think if it was me I'd take a union rep if it's a formal meeting on Monday. Alternatively contact ACAS for advice. Say to the manager that you're not going to make any decisions until you know (and have in writing) the reasons you didn't meet the asssesment criteria. I was looking on direct.gov website and found the following info:-
It is automatically unfair and automatic sex discrimination for your employer to select you for redundancy or dismiss you for a reason connected with:
birth or pregnancy
time off for dependants
Your employer can make you redundant while you are on maternity leave if they can fairly justify their choice. For example, your employer might close the section of their business that you normally work in and make all employees in that section redundant. Then your employer can make you redundant as well.
However, if your employer makes staff cuts across the company, they cannot make you redundant because you are on or are about to take maternity leave.
If you are made redundant whilst on Statutory Maternity Leave then you have special rights. You have the right to be offered any suitable alternative job in the company. This is even if there are other employees that might be more suitable for the job. If you are offered a new job, you are still entitled to the four-week trial period, which should start when you return from Statutory Maternity Leave.
If you are made redundant or dismissed during your Statutory Maternity Leave your employer must give you a written statement explaining the reasons for their decision. You should receive your normal notice period or pay in lieu of notice and redundancy pay, if you are entitled to receive them.
I think your employer needs to tread very carefully and do things by the book as you're in a very strong position to believe you could be discriminated against due to being a woman returning from maternity leave and also pregnant.
Good luck with everything I hope this info helped.
"I think your employer needs to tread very carefully and do things by the book as you're in a very strong position"
I'd disagree. There are 300 redundancies. Being pregnant doesn't enhance your position at all. If there was only 3 redundancies being made then yes but on job cuts of that size the company really does have quite valid excuses for making people redundant. It'd certainly be hard to prove this is a witch hunt unlike if you were the only redundancy. Doesn't change the legals of it at all but I don't think adopting the "i'm pregnant you can't touch me" approach will work at all.
Talk to your employer and explain the situation, certainly a better first choice than wading in lawyers flailing.
"you're in a very strong position to believe you could be discriminated against due to being a woman returning from maternity leave and also pregnant."
Have to agree with Grevling that just because OP is pregnant and has returned from mat leave doesn't in itself mean she is in any kind of strong position in terms of believing she's being discriminated against, especially when there are 300 redundancies, so no question of any kind of 'manufactured' redundancy situation.
OP I wouldn't postpone your meeting just because you haven't had feedback, it's a good opportunity to push your boss to get feedback for you.
You say you haven't had contact about other vacancies but presumably this is what the meeting is partially about? You also say there is a reluctance to consider you for jobs because of your part time status. Have you actually applied for any jobs? Have they been full time jobs and have you made a good case as to how you would do them part time?
To get SMP you need to still be employed 15 weeks before your due date, and by my reckoning if you are 17 weeks now and are entitled to 4 weeks' notice, you are a way off that yet.
You can certainly ask for your termination date to be delayed long enough to get you SMP, but as long as the appropriate process is followed your employer obviously doesn't have to agree to that.
Good luck I hope everything works out for you :-)
Most unions have a minimum membership period requirement, usually at least 3 months, before they will agree to take on your case so joining a union today might not help you very much. You could join anyway and see if they'll at least attend the meeting with you and offer some advice (my union did this for me) but it's very much at their discretion if you're a new member. You definitely wouldn't be eligible to have any legal costs covered by the union.
I agree it would be quite difficult for you to claim any kind of pregnancy-based discrimination in a situation of mass redundancies like this. I had a nearly open and shut case of discrimination where I was the only member of staff put at risk of redundancy in the company and the only pregnant employee. I didn't have a unique job and was not offered reduced hours whereas other (non-childbearing age or male) employees were. It was still VERY tough to negotiate a settlement, despite employing an expensive solicitor and my employer having broken nearly every good HR guideline in the book. The law is pretty flimsy and you have to be prepared to really fight all the way to tribunal to get any major redress - and that's hard to do if you're pregnant and trying to minimise stress. It's a horrible situation to be in but it sounds like you had / have plans other than continuing in the job anyway (as did I) so your best outcome is to keep playing for time a bit and make it under the deadline for SMP. Good luck!
Join the discussion
Please login first.