Sacked for being pregnant!

Employers are reminded to tread carefully when dealing with maternity and pregnancy matters, after one company dismissed an employee following her pregnancy announcement.

The employee had only been in the position for a few weeks when she revealed her pregnancy to a senior manager.  Upon hearing the news, the senior manager told the employee she was not entitled to any maternity leave as she hadn’t yet signed her contract. Furthermore, she told the employee “We have no obligation to keep you on,”.

The Employment Judge stated the senior manager then went on take “advantage of the situation and took steps to terminate her employment, giving options as to the date when she would leave, and seeking, in the first instance, to make out that this was a mutual agreement.”

The employee lodged a tribunal case for pregnancy discrimination and unfair dismissal and was awarded nearly £15,000 in compensation.

Employers are reminded that legislation protects individuals during their pregnancy. Pregnancy and maternity discrimination were the fifth most common discrimination claim in 2021.

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