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Getting pregnant with redundancies looming... bad move?

(4 Posts)
Leanbh2010 Thu 01-Oct-09 22:00:57

It's just been announced that there'll be redundancies at my company from early next year and I'm worried because...

...I'm trying for a baby at the moment

Does anyone know the legal situation on redundancy and pregnant employees - are you better off being pregnant or not pregnant? Can I be made redundant while pregnant and planning to go on maternity leave? I can't see how they could make me redundant if I've said I'm going on maternity leave e.g. from July 2010 as that would basically make me unemployable until after my baby is born. I can't see how it can be legal to fire a woman planning mat. leave. I mean, can I even apply for new jobs while pregnant?

If I got pregnant this month, then I guess I'd have to tell my employer by around Feb 2010 as I'd be taking mat leave from July. If I delay trying for a baby for another six months then maybe they'll already have finished the redundancy process and I'll be home clear. On the other hand, if they are planning on making me redundant anyway then I'll have put off having a child for no reason just to be made unemployed anyway.

So will I have more protection from redundancy if I get pregnant and tell them I'm pregnant before they decide who to make redundant or would I be better off delaying any baby plans until my job's secure? Just fed up at the moment as I've worked in good faith for this employer for nearly 5 years and have put off trying for a baby long enough (will be 32 this year).

flowerybeanbag Fri 02-Oct-09 19:44:04

You can certainly be made redundant while you are pregnant and there's nothing stopping you applying for other jobs while you're pregnant either.

I would say you might be marginally better off being pregnant though, because although it's perfectly legal to make a pregnant employee redundant (as long as the pregnancy is not all or part of the reason for redundancy), lots of employers will be ultra ultra careful when there are pregnant employees being considered for redundancy as they won't want there to be any questions of an accusation of discrimination.

However, although you might be slightly less likely to be made redundant if your employer knows you are pregnant, the problem is if you are made redundant while pregnant, even if you get another job immediately, you won't qualify for statutory maternity pay at your new employer.

If you are still employed with your current employer by the time you are 25 weeks pregnant, and are then made redundant, you will still get SMP from your current employer even after your employment ends.

Leanbh2010 Sat 03-Oct-09 22:57:52

Thanks, I didn't know that you could make someone redundant if they've said they're going on maternity leave. I'd assumed there'd be more protection for you as a pregnant employee since any job-hunting while visibly pregnant will be more difficult than for anyone else, and as you say you're not entitled to paid maternity leave at any new employer who's crazy enough to take on someone who will be taking a six month break immediately on starting the job.

Anyway, I think I will go ahead with baby plans anyway as I can't see how it will harm me to be pregnant. As you say it won't protect me from redundancy but it seems it won't do me much harm either as they can't make an issue of it.

flowerybeanbag Sun 04-Oct-09 15:53:49

You get some extra protection if your job is redundant while you are actually on maternity leave, but during pregnancy your employer must treat you fairly like everyone else and not discriminate.

I agree you should just go for it, there are lots of 'what ifs' involved anyway, you don't know exactly when you'll get pregnant, when redundancies will happen and whether you'll be affected so best to just get on with your plans in the meantime.

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