If an employee whose probation period has been extended due to poor performance announces that she is pregnant will the employer be obliged to confirm her in the post?
The employee has no absolute right to be confirmed in post just
because she is pregnant if her work performance is not of a satisfactory
standard and the reason for this is wholly unconnected to her pregnancy. In
this scenario, if the employer wished to dismiss the employee due to ongoing
poor work performance, it would need to ensure that it had the evidence
available to demonstrate to an employment tribunal that the employee's
pregnancy played no part in the decision to dismiss her. This might take the form
of minutes of meetings with the employee where her performance was discussed on
an ongoing basis, details of reasonable targets set but not achieved and
evidence of mistakes made. The employer would also need to be confident that
the employee's pregnancy was not one of the causes of her poor performance. For
example, if the issue is her attendance record, it could be that her sickness
absence is predominantly pregnancy related. Regardless of her length of
service, dismissing an employee for reasons related to her pregnancy will
constitute pregnancy and maternity discrimination and unfair dismissal.
If the employee establishes a prima facie case of unfavourable
treatment from which a tribunal could properly draw an inference that the
treatment was because of pregnancy, the burden of proof shifts to the
employer to prove that there was some other non-discriminatory ground for the
treatment. If the employer fails to show there was no discrimination, the
tribunal must uphold the employee's complaint. This is why it is so important
for the employer to have evidence to support its case.
Because she is pregnant, the employee would have a
statutory right to receive written reasons for her dismissal.
Where a job applicant is currently on maternity leave and would not wish to start the new role until the end of her maternity leave can the potential employer reject her application for this reason?
Where a suitably qualified employee who is about to go on maternity leave wishes to apply for an internal vacancy must she be considered for the position even though she may not be able to start the new job for a year?
What is the minimum provision for maternity leave?
Where an employee is expecting twins, will she be entitled to two lots of maternity leave?
Apart from the right to statutory maternity leave what other statutory rights do pregnant women and new mothers have?
What rights do employees have in relation to time off work for antenatal care?
Can an employer insist that a part-time employee arrange all her antenatal appointments for times when she is not working?
How is "expected week of childbirth" defined?
What notice of her intention to take maternity leave is an employee required to give?
Does an employee who wishes to exercise her right to statutory maternity leave have to give her employer all the required information at the same time?
What notice of the date that she wants her statutory maternity pay to begin does an employee have to give?
Where an employee notifies her employer of her intended maternity leave start date how should the employer respond?
What are the possible consequences where an employer fails to respond to an employee’s notification of her intended maternity leave?
Can an employee change her mind about when she wants her maternity leave to start?
Where an employee has given notice to vary her maternity leave start date, how should the employer respond?
Where an employee wishes to start her maternity leave on her due date, can the employer insist that she start it earlier so that she has some time to relax beforehand?
Where a pregnant employee's job involves heavy lifting and there is no lighter work available for her to do can the employer insist that she start her maternity leave early?
Where a pregnant employee is suspended on health and safety grounds will this trigger her maternity leave at a certain point?
Where an employee plans to start her maternity leave on the day that her baby is due can she postpone her start date if the baby does not arrive on time?
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