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sis made redundant whilst pregnant

(12 Posts)
moopymoo Wed 08-Jul-09 07:46:39

my sister has just been told - by phone whilst on holiday - that her post will end in 2 weeks. She is to go in on Monday to find out about redundancy package. She told them 2 weeks ago that she is pregnant. The company that she works for has been shedding staff for ages, and it is not completely out of the blue, however she was recently assured that her post was safe. She has been replaced in her role - they have shuffled someone else in - so the job still technically exists. I think she has a good chance of a wrongful dismissal case - anyone any experience? She is taking a friend who is a lawyer to the meeting with her next week. I am shocked that they can do this - it is a big multi national organisation, a media company. Am grr on her behalf - she very stressed, understandably.

flowerybeanbag Wed 08-Jul-09 08:51:28

How long has she been there? It doesn't sound like a fair procedure, which would normally mean unfair dismissal anyway, and if the reason is her pregnancy, then that would be sex discrimination. If she's been there less than a year she doesn't actually have the right to claim unfair dismissal, but she can certainly claim sex discrimination.

Are they really allowing her to bring a lawyer to the meeting?!

IneedacleanerIamalazyslattern Wed 08-Jul-09 08:55:46

I thought that if they were making redundancies they weren't allowed to place someone in that role again without offering it to the person made redundant for a certain length of time. COuld be talking out my backside though.
I seem to remember my dad a few years sgo when his company were re-shuffled happily taking redundancy and they kind of bought him off as he didn't want to go back and they probably didn't want him back but they could not guarentee that hsi job wouldn't exhist again within the time limit.

flowerybeanbag Wed 08-Jul-09 08:59:50

There is no specific requirement to offer a post that becomes available again to someone who previously was made redundant from it, no.

Of course if this happens quickly, within 3 months of dismissal, the person made redundant could then claim unfair dismissal on the grounds that the redundancy wasn't genuine, which it sounds as though it probably wasn't in this case. But there is no requirement to offer jobs back to redundant employees later on.

moopymoo Wed 08-Jul-09 10:36:37

yep, she is allowed to bring a lawyer to the negotiations.It is actually a friend of hers and she is allowed representation. She has been with the company for 10 years, in this role for 3. Person will be replacing her in post the day she leaves. She has only been given 2 weeks notice. It all sounds like very sharp practice to me.

flowerybeanbag Wed 08-Jul-09 10:44:49

It does indeed, very blatant as well! Is the friend actually an employment lawyer?

moopymoo Wed 08-Jul-09 10:48:32

friend is actually friend of friend if you will and is a specialist. Im sure she will get good advice, just wanting to give her some hope before meeting on Monday. Its media industry - she is a broadcast journo and notoriously an unscrupulous (sp?) place to work.

flowerybeanbag Wed 08-Jul-09 10:54:42

Ok well that's good. From the sound of things she may well have a good case for unfair dismissal and sex discrimination.

MrsFrin Wed 08-Jul-09 11:14:30

Having been in a similar situation myself it sounds like they are on very dodgy ground, payouts in sexual discrimination claims are not capped whereas they are for unfair / constructive dismissal. Organisations tend to run scared of making anyone redundant whilst pregnant because of this so she needs to stress that they did this in the knowledge that she is pregnant and that they would not have treated her in this way if she had not been pregnant. Am sure the lawyer will push that anyway (lots of places won't let you bring legal rep to internal meetings so may be best not to tell them it is a lawyer and just say friend)

Kafka Wed 08-Jul-09 18:27:56

If she has been there less than a year and she believes that she was made redundant because of her pregnancy she can claim automatic unfair dismissal - special protection for pregnant women.

flowerybeanbag Wed 08-Jul-09 19:47:30

Absolutely Kafka - automatic reasons before a year had slipped my mind when I first posted on this, however she's been there 10 years anyway.

abcmum Wed 08-Jul-09 20:56:53

If her job still exists, then this is not a redundancy situation. She would definitely have a case for Unfair Dismissal. To prove SD she would have to prove that but for her pregnancy she would not have been made redundant. In other words that her dismissal is as a direct result of her pregnancy. Good Luck. It is a terrible thing to go through. But it is a fight worth fighting - Pregnancy discrimination must stop! I hope the lawyer can be of some assistance. If you want any details of my case, which I won for unfair dismissal and SD, message me through my FB group. Good Luck to your sis x

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