Pregnancy related sickness is a common occurrence for pregnant women. Unfortunately, at Lincs Law we often get calls from pregnant employees who are experiencing difficulties at work because they are suffering with pregnancy related sickness. If you would like more information on the rights that pregnant employees have in relation to pregnancy related sickness, please read on.
Pregnancy Related Sickness Discrimination
It is unlawful for your employer to discriminate against you or subject you to a detriment because you have taken time off work due to pregnancy related sickness.
Common examples of pregnancy related discrimination are:
- Your employer trying to demote you because you have taken pregnancy related sick leave.
- Your employer placing on you a performance improvement plan because you have taken pregnancy related sick leave.
- Your employer taking duties, projects and responsibilities off you because you have taken pregnancy related sick leave.
If you have suffered detrimental treatment because you are suffering with pregnancy related sickness at work, you may be eligible to bring a claim for Pregnancy Related Sickness Discrimination. You can issue this claim in the Employment Tribunal whilst you are still employed.
Dismissal due to Pregnancy Related Sickness
If you employer dismisses you because you have taken sick leave due to pregnancy related sickness, then you would be able to bring a claim for Automatic Unfair Dismissal.
It does not matter how long you have been employed by your employer. If you are dismissed because you have taken pregnancy related sick leave, you are eligible to bring this claim.
What Can You Do?
If you have been subjected to detrimental treatment because you are suffering with pregnancy related sickness at work, the first step is to raise a formal grievance with your employer in respect of the treatment you are receiving.
If you have been dismissed due to pregnancy related sickness, then you would need to appeal against the decision with your employer.
It is important that you comply with your firm’s internal grievance and / or appeal process first. Whilst you may feel like it is a pointless exercise to appeal to your employer, it is an important step if you wish to bring an Employment Tribunal claim.
Time Limits for Automatic Unfair Dismissal and Pregnancy Related Discrimination
There are very specific time limits for bringing claims in the Employment Tribunal. You will need to begin the ACAS Early Conciliation process within three months less one day from the last act complained of. For example:
- If you were demoted on 14 March 2023 due to pregnancy related sickness, you must begin ACAS Early Conciliation by 13 June 2023.
- If you were dismissed on 01 March 2023 due to pregnancy related sickness, you must begin ACAS Early Conciliation by 31 May 2023.
ACAS Early Conciliation is a mandatory process that all potential litigants must go through before they can bring a claim to the Employment Tribunal. The aim of ACAS is to try and resolve the dispute between you and your employer without the need for further claims to be brought in the Employment Tribunal. If you are unable to resolve your dispute through ACAS Early Conciliation you will then be able to proceed to the Employment Tribunal.
Lincs Law Employment Solicitors Can Help You
If you would like further help and advice in respect of pregnancy discrimination, please call us on 01522 440512 for a free, no obligation, initial phone enquiry. For more information, please visit our website https://lincslaw.co.uk/services/employees/workplace-problems/pregnancy-and-maternity-discrimination/
Specialist Employment Solicitor