Rights during pregnancy / mat leave(2 Posts)
Hi there, I've always felt that I understand this, but am now beginning to doubt myself...
I am pregnant and have been hospitalised twice so far as a result. Can work:
- discipline me for absence?
- use this against me in the case of redundancies?
- remove my current workload, then cite "poor deployment" as a reason for discipline/making me redundant? (In effect creating a disadvantaged position as a result of pregnancy-related illness)
If they were to offer me a "compromise agreement" to leave because of my pregnancy/absences, could I legally challenge this if no performance issues have been raised before? (Especially considering this would mean I'd lose my mat pay and be faced with job hunting on mat leave)
It's looking like I am developing spd which means I struggle to sit or stand for long without pain - - would it be reasonable to ask to work from home (common practice in my company) or would they be within their rights to tell me that if I can't physically come into the office I should be signed off sick?
I've been there over 2 years, if that makes a difference here.
Your rights protect you against all the situations above. You have a 'protected characteristic' in pregnancy which means you are covered by full discrimination legislation and should not be treated differently due to your pregnancy or pregnancy related illnesses. The 2 years would be relevant if you weren't pregnant because it would be the point at which you acquire statutory employment rights, but as a pregnant woman you have them anyway. A compromise agreement requires both sides to agree so you absolutely do not have to agree to one. In some cases they are beneficial because they result in an agreed reference, avoid going to tribunal and often result in a payout to the employee. In your case they would be very clearly in the wrong so a compromise agreement shouldn't be necessary, a tribunal would be highly unlikely to find in your employer's favour based on what you have said here. It is worth speaking to an experienced solicitor or Maternity Action for advice. Depending on how far along the process you are it may be easier and better to follow your employer's grievance procedure and stop this before it gets to a discrimination situation.
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