What to Do if You Experience Pregnancy Discrimination at Work

Although the law protects you against unfair treatment at work due to a pregnancy, it’s not uncommon for women to find themselves struggling at their workplace, or even pushed out of a job due to falling pregnant. In certain industries, where it may no longer be safe to work whilst pregnant, your employer should work to find you a suitable position that you are able to fulfill during the time until your maternity leave commences. Sadly, many employers today still do not treat women fairly when they’re pregnant or want to take maternity leave from work. If you feel that you would have been treated fairly were you not pregnant, your employer may be breaking the law. Here’s what to do if you are treated unfairly or wrongfully dismissed from your workplace due to pregnancy.

1. Get Legal Advice:

The first step is getting legal advice from an experienced solicitor who is used to handling similar claims. They will be able to look at the specifics of your situation to let you know whether you are being treated unfairly, and whether it’s worth thinking about making a claim against your employer. If you’re trying to avoid a lengthy court case whilst pregnant, then it may be worth speaking to experienced settlement agreement solicitors who will be able to increase your chance of coming to an agreement with your employer outside of court.

2. Keep Records:

If you are going to make a claim, then it’s important that you are able to provide evidence of the unfair treatment. If you were dismissed for seemingly no reason when your employer found out that you were pregnant, then this may be evidence enough. However, in most cases, it’s not always as simple as that. It’s a good idea to keep detailed records of how your employer’s treatment of you changed from falling pregnant onwards. For example, if you lost out on opportunities for progression or were demoted to a lower-paid position.

3. Know Your Rights:

It’s important to be fully aware of your rights surrounding pregnancy discrimination in the workplace. Legally, you are protected against pregnancy discrimination from as soon as your employer is informed that you are pregnant, however, you are not legally required to tell your employer about the pregnancy until fifteen weeks before your baby is due to be born. Once your employer has been informed, you are protected against unfair dismissal, unfair treatment, redundancy, and discrimination on pregnancy grounds.

4. Pregnancy or Performance?

If you are dismissed from work during pregnancy, most employers will not admit that it is because you are pregnant. However, bear in mind that there will be circumstances where a dismissal during pregnancy is for fair reasons, for example, gross misconduct is not protected against whilst pregnant. Except for in the most serious cases, your employer will need to warn you beforehand if you are about to be dismissed. It is unfair for your employer to dismiss you for pregnancy-related reasons, such as absence due to morning sickness or the need to make adjustments to accommodate you.

Your employer should not treat you unfairly because you are pregnant – if this is the case, get legal advice today!



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