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Pregnancy Rights

(2 Posts)
Vashi Thu 19-May-16 10:44:46

Hi,
This is my 1st post on MN and a long one so please bear with me.
I am employed with a company in London for past 1.5 years with an initial contract of working 3 days from home and 2 day in office. Meanwhile my OH got an opportunity and we moved to South-West of England. At this point my company changed my contract to 4 days WFH and 1 day in office. It's a 6 hrs commute in total on the day I go to office.
Some structural changes happened in the company in past 2 months but nothing was reflected in my role or responsibilities. I got pregnant and shared the news with the manager as I was getting morning and evening sickness and had to call sick a few times.
Had a meeting with manager yesterday where he is asking me to come to office for all 5 days knowing the significant amount of commute that I have to do. I have a few more meetings in the coming week with the manager and HR for this setting.
And I have a feeling if I say no to 5 days in office they are going to make me redundant.
Can you suggest what rights do I hold at this point? And where can I seek help?

TIA

PlentyOfPubeGardens Thu 19-May-16 18:51:32

What did your manager give as a reason for you having to work 5 days in the office? Generally employment contracts can only be changed with the agreement of both parties and they are supposed to consult fully with employees and explain why the changes are needed. If the changes mean you cannot reasonably continue in your job, this could amount to constructive dismissal.

But - you have fewer rights because you have worked there less than two years. You would not have the right to claim unfair dismissal unless you can show that you are being discriminated against because of pregnancy. If you can show that, it is automatically unfair dismissal and the two year time limit does not apply. There's a long page here from CAB that's worth picking through carefully.

Your employer cannot just make you redundant unless it's a genuine redundancy, i.e. the work is no longer there for you to do for some reason.

It's a complex area and you need to get proper advice ASAP. ACAS helpline are very good, or contact your local CAB.

In the meantime, DON'T start going in every day as this could be construed as you agreeing to the changes, DO get things in writing as much as possible. Are the meetings minuted? Make sure you get copies. If not, follow up each meeting with an email, setting out what was discussed and what decisions have been made.

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