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Being pregnant should be a time when you can focus on taking care of yourself and your new baby.  Unfortunately, many employers still discriminate against pregnant employees.
 

Pregnancy and Work

As a pregnant employee you may be discriminated against by e.g. being denied training or being passed over for a promotion or you may encounter problems with your employer's attitude to antenatal appointments or your employer may have failed to carry out a risk assessment.  For more information, please see our Pregnancy and Work page, which also has some useful tips for working whilst pregnant.
 

Maternity Leave

If you have problems with your employer during your maternity leave or on returning to work, please see our Maternity Leave page.
 

Paternity Leave

Employers should not discriminate against new fathers who take paternity leave, if your partner is having problems at work because he wants to take or has taken paternity leave, please see our page on Paternity Leave.
 

Flexible Working Requests

If you want to change your hours of work or change the times you work to be more compatible with your child care arrangements, please see our flexible working page.
 
 
If you are having problems at work due to your pregnancy or because you are about to take or have taken Maternity Leave, please contact Ashley Hunt, Vaishali Thakerar or Carrie-Ann Randall now on 0116 212 1000 or complete one of the on-line forms. We also run a number of free walk-in advice clinics at our offices in Market Harboroug, Leicester & Wigston.
 

News Articles on Pregnancy, Maternity Leave and Employment

Lawson-West's Employment Law team also have some useful news articles on pregnancy at work, maternity leave, paternity leave and flexible working, click on the heading to read more:-
 
An Employment Tribunal found that an employer failed to offer an employee on maternity leave suitable alternative vacancies as just informing her of the vacancies was not sufficient.  The employee won her Employment Tribunal claim as her employer's failure meant her dismissal for redundancy was automatically unfair.
 
An Employment Tribunal found a pregnant RAF Officer had suffered discrimination and the RAF had created 'an intimidating, degrading, hostile or offensive environment for her.'  The RAF ordered her to return to the UK even though she wanted to be with her husband when both had stationed in the Falkland Islands so she had to use leave to go back to the Falkland Islands to be with her husband which meant she missed out on a performance review which delayed her promotion prospects.
 
A pregnant employee, who was made redundant, carried out a trial period as a part-time administrator.  At the end of the trial period she made an Employment Tribunal claim for sex discrimination and unfair dismissal because of comments made by her employer.  A senior manager had said she was chosen for a part-time role because 'we thought it would be suitable for you after the baby.'
 
Whilst an employee was on maternity leave, her employer decided to reduce the number of employees as trade had reduced.  However the employer failed to follow proper consultation procedures and an Employment Tribunal found the employee had been unfairly dismissed.
 
An Employment Appeal Tribunal upheld an Employment Tribunal ruling that the Army had discriminated against a soldier who was also a single parent after disciplining her for failing to appear on parade when her child was sick. 
 
In a similar case Lawson-West acted for an employee who was at risk of redundancy and was offered another position provided she worked full-time.  Due to childcare responsibilities, she could not work full-time and her employer failed to demonstrate the job had to be full-time, so she made a successful employment tribunal claim.  
 
An employee was made redundant by her employer and made a successful Employment Tribunal Claim on the basis of unfair dismissal and sex discrimination.  Her employers refused to allow her to return to her previous role, continued to employ her maternity cover and put her at risk of and selected her for redundancy.
 
A pregnant administrator won her Employment Tribunal claim for unlawful sex discrimination after she said she was forced to resign due to her employer's behaviour.
 
Research by the National Childbirth Trust found that four in ten women said they found going back to work after having a baby 'difficult' or 'very difficult'.  One third felt their promotion prospects had been reduced since maternity leave and one in seven said they had reduced seniority since returning after having a baby.
 
A teaching assistant was told that there was no job for her return to after maternity leave.  Her employer tried to argue that she had not specifically said she wanted to return to work after maternity leave, however, the Employment Tribunal dismissed this point.
 
In the wake of news that a TV-presenter has lodged an employment tribunal claim for pregnancy-related sex discrimination, Lawson-West employment law solicitors would like to take the opportunity to highlight employee’s rights if they are dismissed whilst pregnant or on maternity leave.
 
Each year 7% of working mothers-to-be are forced out of their jobs because they are unfairly dismissed, made redundant or made to leave their jobs due to discrimination because of their pregnancy, according to statistics from the Equal Opportunities Commission.  Furthermore, 45% of mothers-to-be or new mothers say they've experienced unfair treatment.