Job offered but then withdrawn after I notified them I was pregnant

(17 Posts)
Tabbycatrem Wed 02-Aug-17 18:45:10

Hi all, I posted this in the pregnancy section but was advised to post here too; I just wondered if anyone could help understand whether this was or wasn't discriminatory.

I was contacted by an agancy with a temp to permanent job with a company that deals with pharmacuetical trials. The job was in a lab but didnt require handling any chemicals and the person interviewing me explained they wore lab coats only as a precaution and there was very little that was harmful in the lab. After the interview I was offered the job to start 10 days later. After a week of filling out the forms for the agency on the friday before i was due to start on tuesday I informed the agent I was pregnant purely because i thought it would be easier for everyone to know earlier and my understanding was that once offered a job it can't be taken away because youre pregnant. After saying she'd talk to the company and get back to me I then didnt hear anything until monday when I was told they were carrying out a risk assessment and would get back to me on tuesday. Wednesday evening I was finally told that I was too much of a risk and so the agency wouldnt be taking me. Could this be considered discrimination? I definitely feel discriminated against! My understanding was that after a risk assessment is carried the company was to make adjustments for the employee but maybe its different when its through an agency? Either way im quite sure the agency just didnt want any risk to them, but do I have any rights in this situation?

OP’s posts: |
grumpysquash3 Wed 02-Aug-17 22:32:48

It's probably because it's a temp-to-perm position. If it was just temp it would be fine. But just at the time you'd become permanent, you'd be off on mat leave, which is presumably the opposite of what they wanted to achieve.
(I don't think it's because of the chemicals)

Temporaryanonymity Wed 02-Aug-17 22:35:36

Of course it isn't fine! Should be a very costly mistake on their behalf.

SecretFreebirther Wed 02-Aug-17 22:36:46

^^yes but I'm pretty sure that's illegal!

grumpysquash3 Wed 02-Aug-17 22:40:44

Maybe it depends whether your contract was with the company or with the agency? But I still don't think that temps have the same legal protection (I don't think it's right, FWIW), especially if you haven't actually started work yet.

Fruitboxjury Wed 02-Aug-17 22:41:34

By way of background how many weeks are you and what do you want from the job - temp or permanent? What are the time frames involved? Did your recruiter know about your pregnancy and what advice were you given?

OllyBJolly Wed 02-Aug-17 22:49:22

definitely not fine and it's not relevant whether the job is permanent, temporary or fixed term. Pregnancy and maternity are protected characteristics under the 2010 Equality Act. This is automatic discrimination.

Do you have anything in writing with the job offer? Is this from the company or from the agency? Had you officially accepted?

I would call ACAS first thing tomorrow and consider taking this to tribunal.

OllyBJolly Wed 02-Aug-17 22:51:40

I still don't think that temps have the same legal protection

EVERYONE has the right not to be subjected to illegal discrimination.

By way of background how many weeks are you and what do you want from the job - temp or permanent? What are the time frames involved? Did your recruiter know about your pregnancy and what advice were you given?

None of this is relevant. It is automatic discrimination. The only question will be can it be proven.

Fortheloveofscience Wed 02-Aug-17 22:58:42

Pregnancy discrimination is one of the things that is unaffected by the length of term in the post. I can't see how it's legal...

Catinthecorner Wed 02-Aug-17 22:59:56

I really really hope that was said in an email

Mrsfucktrumpet Wed 02-Aug-17 23:03:06

Yes this is discrimination. There is a website maternity action. They have a helpline number that you can call for.advice and they have bee great with me. Good luck op.x

Laine21 Wed 02-Aug-17 23:21:50

They would have to carry out a risk assessment with the new information that a potential employee is pregnant, especially if there could be a possible risk to a growing foetus.

You were told "there was very little that was harmful in the lab"

But that statement does not 100% say that the lab is safe, just very little that was harmful under usual circumstances. The possible risk may be too much for your baby, and it could be they are protecting you from the possible risk. They would be negligent if they did not.

MyOtherProfile Wed 02-Aug-17 23:23:44

The key will be whether you have any of this in writing I think.

Gianticicle Thu 03-Aug-17 06:45:26

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

converseandjeans Thu 03-Aug-17 23:59:02

I honestly think you should have been more up front with everyone. They will spend time training you with the view to you going from temp to permanent. So if you leave and they have to rehire then they will have to start from scratch. It is going to be hugely inconvenient for them & they probably don't want to go through the process again in a few months time.
Yes companies have an obligation not to discriminate - but surely that is to protect current staff? Why didn't you tell them at interview?

Viviennemary Fri 04-Aug-17 00:10:16

I think if you are dealing with substances even if they are low risk then the company probably has to take into consideration that there still could be a risk however minimal.

If the offer isn't made in writing I thought it could be withdrawn as it wasn't confirmed. Still I don't think being pregnant is a valid legal reason for withdrawing an offer of employment. But it could be difficult to pursue this and prove it is discrimination.

SecretFreebirther Fri 04-Aug-17 12:03:39

I honestly think you should have been more up front with everyone. They will spend time training you with the view to you going from temp to permanent. So if you leave and they have to rehire then they will have to start from scratch. It is going to be hugely inconvenient for them & they probably don't want to go through the process again in a few months time.
While most people will understand that, and is plainly the company's point of view, it is discrimination and definitely not legal. I hope you've been in contact with acas OP.

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