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Redundancy and pregnancy discrimination

(15 Posts)
Hopebaby Sun 23-Feb-14 12:07:51

Hello, I am wondering if anyone has experience of going through this or any good advice. I have been employed by my company for the past 9 months. I have had frequent performance management review meetings with my line manager and there have never been any issues brought up, basically all she has been saying is keep up the good work. I am called into a meeting last Monday with her and she has a table comparing my performance to my colleges of the Wednesday before. I explain the reason I am slower at sieving samples (I work in a marine lab) is because I am pregnant and am worried about being around the formaldehyde fumes for a long period of time. I have been sieving only a few samples at a time and going off to process them, rather than staying at the sink for hours like my fellow colleges. She appears to understand. I work part time and on the Friday of the same week, I find out through Facebook that I have been made redundant. The whole lab has been told before I knew anything, so I hear it through my friends rather than a senior college. Surely they cannot treat someone like this? I am only 3 weeks pregnant hence why I wanted to initially wait a few more weeks till I said anything.

Oodhousekeeping Sun 23-Feb-14 12:09:28

Have you had it confirmed from someone senior that you're made redundant? Just hoping its gossip gone wrong

Hopebaby Sun 23-Feb-14 12:20:52

No I haven't had anything confirmed, but three of my friends told me that one of the senior staff announced it to the whole lab. When they asked her if I knew I was redundant, she replied that I did. I had one answer phone message from the manager on the Friday asking me to call work but it mentioned nothing about redundancy.

ButICantaloupe Sun 23-Feb-14 12:25:20

That is outrageous! The timing of you announcing your pregnancy and you being "made redundant" without being informed is very suspicious.

Have you spoken to ACAS?

EBearhug Sun 23-Feb-14 12:26:25

When there are redundancies with us, there's a list of criteria that people are checked against. One of those criteria is length of service, and anyone who's been there less than two years and therefore isn't entitled to compulsory redundancy will find themselves a lot closer to going than those who have been around longer. It could be nothing to do with your performance. It could be a way of getting rid of you because you're pregnant, but you would need evidence they are being discriminatory. It could just be cost-cutting - our annual results came out recently, and that's been followed by cost-cutting measures before.

If you're in a union, talk to them. There's also information online with ACAS and others about your rights round redundancy (make sure it's a UK site - rules differ for different countries.) But be aware that having only been there a few months, you don't have many rights, so it might also be time to polish up your CV.

Hopebaby Sun 23-Feb-14 12:42:52

Thanks, I will get in touch with acas. I still think that length of service is by the by when you have confirmed your pregnancy with them but I will get this confirmed. I am just in shock at their unprofessionalism. Has anyone gone through anything similar and what have your outcomes been?

AtrociousCircumstance Sun 23-Feb-14 12:47:58

I successfully made a formal greviance for pregnancy discrimination against my workplace - they weren't making me redundant but they refused me a bonus and pay review. Hr then came along and kicked them into shape.

But I had to really go for it.

Acas were helpful but not that helpful.

One brilliant thing was I had employment law support covered by my home insurance with esure (without even know in it before this problem!) so check if your provider does it too.

I made a strong claim and they had to back track.

This is discrimination and they broke codes of conduct in announcing it in the way they have.

You have a strong position - go for it.

Make a formal grievance (calling it that - check out best way to write it on line) stating why you have been discriminated against and send it to your manager and hr.

They have to respond and if it isn't appropriate tell them you will take it to tribunal.

Good luck.

EBearhug Sun 23-Feb-14 12:55:30

They are massively unprofessional. When we were last at risk, those of us at risk were told first, everyone else was afterwards. The secrecy till it was announced was very stressful for our manager, but it was the right way for it to happen.

If you're only 3 weeks pregnant, I assume you haven't yet formally told them you're pregnant, or asked for reasonable adjustments?

Elletorro Sun 23-Feb-14 12:57:30

Also re working with formaldehyde: you are entitled to a health and safety review. Get it ASAP v important for your baby. I echo atrocious, this looks like pregnancy discrimination and trumped up performance review

Good luck and congratulations.

Hopebaby Sun 23-Feb-14 13:09:30

Thank you for your comments. I had verbally told my line manager about the pregnancy as it was so early, I didn't have any formal certification. I think it is their responsibility to provide reasonable adjustments though.

CrewElla Sun 23-Feb-14 13:16:47

If you can show that you are being made redundant because you are pregnant then it is gender discrimination and rules to do with length of service do not apply. Make sure you speak to a lawyer before accepting anything from your employer.

FadBook Sun 23-Feb-14 16:38:42

I think you need to take a step back and see what communication comes your way when you are back at work, before putting in any grievance and jumping the gun that the redundancy is because you've verbally mentioned your pregnancy.

If all of the dept are being made redundant, male and female, then there is no link to your pregnancy, therefore no sex discrimination.

Anyone put "at risk" of redundancy should be thoroughly consulted. There are certain rules if more than 20 people in terms of times frames, but a good employer would announce - write to you confirming business case for redundancy - meet with you to discuss options - close consultation period, make redundancies if no alternatives to redundancies are found,

They haven't had the chance to do that with you yet as the announcement was on Friday (albeit, the announcement to your colleagues has been poor as they've failed to consider you not being there). Go in tomorrow and ask what's going on.

Start making a log of the events so far (dates of reviews and discussions) so you don't forget should you need to refer back to them later.

FadBook Sun 23-Feb-14 16:45:24

The whole lab has been told before I knew anything, so I hear it through my friends rather than a senior college. Surely they cannot treat someone like this?

Just re read this. Not sure if you're saying just you are being made redundant or everyone is.

Could there be a misinterpretation?

I would still go in to work as normal and see what is said. Make notes of any conversations you have and don't mention pregnancy to them. If they do say you are ask them for reasons why and make sure you write the reasons down carefully (don't be afraid of silences in meetings).

Hopebaby Sun 23-Feb-14 20:14:14

Thanks for your message. Sorry, to clarify I meant to say that the whole lab knew I was made redundant before I knew anything myself. There were two other people who had also been made redundant on that Friday.

FadBook Sun 23-Feb-14 22:24:46

See what they say tomorrow or when you are back in.

Come back to report. One of us will be able to guide you.

Definitely call ACAS once you've had confirmation from company of redundancy.

And try not to worry, I know it's easier to say it, but you and your health are more important.

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