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Is this discrimination?

(4 Posts)
whichcenturyisthis Mon 10-Oct-11 17:13:57

Ooh I'm angry! angry

I'm a mature student on an undergraduate degree. My degree is a sandwich course - we do two years at uni, then a placement year, then back to uni for the final year.

The placement unit are supposed to support us in finding an appropriate employer, but in reality I will find the placement myself (the ones they have don't really suit my course). I sought their advice however as we're considering having a second child next year. I wondered if it was possible to do both and wanted to know what the minimum required weeks were for the placement to qualify.

I've since found out that they've tried to ban me from doing a placement on this basis! Their attitude is that I will be letting the employer down and standing in the way of other students. But that's illegal surely?! I'm not even pregnant, I just mentioned we were thinking about it and was exploring options! Even if we decide to TTC there's no guarantee it'll happen next year is there?!

Incidentally I am one of their top students, with over a decade of relevant(ish) work experience! The last time I was paid I got around £32K. As I will be doing the placement for around £16K pro-rata I feel any employer would be lucky to have me! (Not that this should make any difference to the law, but just so as you know that there aren't other issues about my reliability).

Can anyone tell me which law this is illegal under?

Their attempt to ban me has been unsucessful (as far as I know) but I'd like to know where I stand legally in case I do need to argue my case.

(I am a regular but have name changed as I don't want to identify my university.)

TIA smile

whichcenturyisthis Mon 10-Oct-11 18:05:10

Hopeful bump

drcrab Mon 10-Oct-11 21:59:52

I don't know about the legal end of things but surely if you do get pregnant you will have to defer the year or term (depending on when the child is due)? In which case you will not be able to complete/start your sandwich year. Whether that's being unfair to the employer etc is separate issue I think.

And I think the fact that you used to earn £32k is irrelevant. Depending on your degree and type of job you'll do, employers rarely pay the proper salaries.

whichcenturyisthis Tue 11-Oct-11 08:56:26

Well I might be able to do both without deferring. I'd heard that the minimum number of weeks you need to complete to qualify (in exceptional circumstances) is 26 weeks. Now seeing as my school year finishes in June and starts again in October that would leave time if (and I know it's a big if!) I fell pregnant without much effort. I would still get nearly a year with my baby.
From what I know now I suspect I might have qualified for "exceptional circumstances" had I got pregnant by "accident" but I'm being penalised for planning!
I'm shocked that they're trying to ban me from taking up an opportunity when I'm only talking about thr possibility of getting pregnant - I wanted to know where I stood. It might not even happen! Thus isn't right, surely?!

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