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14 weeks pregnant and being made redundant

(12 Posts)
ClaireSunflower Tue 22-Nov-16 16:18:42

Hi, I'm hoping to get some advice as I don't really have a clue where to start.

I'm 14 weeks pregnant and had not planned on telling work for a couple more weeks. Today I got called into a meeting with our Managing Director and HR Director and told that the team I support (as a PA) aren't making enough money and as a result can't afford to keep me and that my role is at risk of redundancy.

I work in a small company and previously when people have been told they are 'at risk' they always leave and the company are just looking to fire them in a legal way following the proper procedures.

I then told them that I am pregnant and this is really a terrible position for me to be in right now. They said they would have to look into the legalities of it and would let me know on Monday and to go home until then.

I'm at a loss on what I can do. If I have to get a new job I would have to lie to a new employer about being pregnant or no-one would hire me. I can't afford to be out of work between now and when I would go on Maternity leave (end April) and was banking on getting maternity pay. I'm so upset I can't stop crying. My husband says we will be ok but I can't see how right now. Can anyone give me any advice?

TerriB84 Tue 22-Nov-16 16:39:53

That is really shitty timing. The only advice I can give is that just because you are pregnant doesn't necessarily mean nobody will hire you. My company hired someone who was 8 months pregnant with the understanding she would officially start after her maternity leave. They immediately began to recruit for her maternity cover...

I realise this is an unusual example though.

Flappergirl86 Tue 22-Nov-16 17:22:55

If they make you redundant you could say it's cos they knew you were pregnant and take it to court for loss of earnings. It's likely you'd win x

TaggieRR Tue 22-Nov-16 17:28:42

I'm not sure how you'd win as they weren't aware of pregnancy when they advised being at risk. Unless you'd want to lie in court.

WatchingFromTheWings Tue 22-Nov-16 17:35:15

f they make you redundant you could say it's cos they knew you were pregnant and take it to court for loss of earnings. It's likely you'd win x

But they didn't know and to blatantly lie like that would be very unfair to the company. And it would affect references for the future.

meditrina Tue 22-Nov-16 17:35:39

Info here on maternity pay and redundancy

www.maternityaction.org.uk/advice-2/mums-dads-scenarios/pregnant/redundancy-during-pregnancy-and-maternity-leave/

As you say they did not know about your pregnancy, and there is a business reason to downsize, then yes they can make you redundant. But depending on dates, they may still have to pay your SMP.

HeavyMetalMummy Tue 22-Nov-16 17:51:08

www.maternityaction.org.uk/advice-2/mums-dads-scenarios/pregnant/redundancy-during-pregnancy-and-maternity-leave/

Have a look at the above Claire, it gives you some info on SMP entitlement if you've been made redundant whilst pregnant and other rights. Also look over your own employment contract and the HR handbook for your employer, which you have every right to request. DO NOT sit and wait for them to get back to you.

There is a chance that the word 'pregnant' might put a halt to the intended redundancy because they won't want to risk being seen as discriminatory. But still do your research, stay for as long as possible to maintain your regular salary, to increase your chances at SMP and maybe bump up any redundancy package they are planning to offer you.

trinityrabbit Tue 22-Nov-16 20:09:20

Hi. As far as maternity pay..you can claim maternity allowance instead which is only a bit less than mat pay (you don't get the 6 week 90% of earnings, but still £130 a week or whatever the weekly figure is). You have to have worked for 26 weeks in the 66 weeks before you give birth so as long ad you've had you job for 12 weeks before you got pregnant you'll be fine to claim that.

As for a new job you don't have to tell a new employer you are pregnant unless they specifically ask..but realistically you'll probably be showing anyway. You just have to sell yourself hard. It's not a financial loss to any company paying you statutory maternity pay just the time off you'll need. It is possible to be employed pregnant if you cam shiw how great you'll be working there. Alternatively you can get temp jobs until April then apply for your next career job once you're finished with maternity.
Good luck, nightmare situation flowers cake for you

AcademicNerd Tue 22-Nov-16 21:57:32

Don't forget to try Citizens Advice too.

BakerJ Wed 23-Nov-16 07:49:00

Hi OP,

I didn't want to read and run as am in a very similar position, I'm 9 weeks and recently found out my job is at risk too. I still haven't told work about my pregnancy though as I'm worried it will affect my chances of getting another role within the company if one were to come up.

I understand how worrying and upsetting it is to be in this position but try not to get too worked up about it. I also cried a lot the first day but have had some time to let it sink in now.

As pp have said, you will still get maternity allowance from the government, depending on your circumstances you may qualify for other benefits too?
I'm also really concerned that no one will hire me whilst pregnant, but I'm going to give it my best shot.

I found making a 'worst case' budget helped me to feel a little calmer as it helped to show where we'd need to cut back but also that it is possible for us to scrape by without my salary. Now anything that I manage to earn in the meantime is a bonus rather than a necessity which took the pressure off

Hope you're holding up ok x

Featherybum Wed 23-Nov-16 19:35:58

Hi OP this happened to me a few years ago. Sorry it's a crappy thing to go through. First off what everyone else said 're maternity allowance it's easy to claim. I was also entitled to jobseekers allowance for the period between my redundancy starting at the minimum starting point of maternity allowance which should help if it moves fast. You may also be entitled to claim jobseekers allowance after your mat allowance finishes, I'm not sure but may be worth a shot to support you later on. JSA also meant I qualified for some housing benefit as we were renting at the time.

Unfortunately as long as they can provide proof that selecting you for redundancy was unrelated to your pregnancy (and it isnt hard to find something) then there isnt much you can do other than hope they pass you over. In my case it was pregnancy related, my manager even told me that if I only took 3 months off I could come back but as I refused the redundancy went ahead. I had no proof of this though and they soon found a financial excuse to justify my redundancy.

I took them for all my outstanding annual leave and bank hols etc though!

ClaireSunflower Thu 24-Nov-16 11:59:01

Hi everyone, thank you so much for the advice, I really appreciated all of it.

I had a chat with my boss have agreed now I am pregnant that if I am made redundant, which I'm pretty sure I will, they will extend my notice period until I choose to go on maternity leave which is a huge weight off my mind now I know I will have income until the baby is born and maternity pay too.

Thanks again all smile

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