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Maternity rights: Employment continued after expiry of maternity leave

This report relates to 1 case(s)

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    Lewis Woolf Griptight Ltd v Corfield [1997] IRLR 432 EAT (1 other report)

    • Dismissal for failure to return discriminatory

      1 September 1997

      In Lewis Woolf Griptight Ltd v Corfield (25 March 1997) EOR75D, the EAT holds that it was sex discriminatory to use a woman's failure to return to work from maternity leave as the basis for dismissing her. The EAT also rules that by sending in a sickness certificate and asking whether she was entitled to SSP, the applicant was asserting that she remained an employee and not postponing her return to work.

In Lewis Woolf Griptight Ltd v Corfield [1997] IRLR 432 the EAT upholds an industrial tribunal's decision that a woman's employment was terminated by dismissal, rather than by operation of statute, when because of illness she was unable to return to work four weeks after the notified date of her return from maternity leave, and her employer told her that it was neither required nor prepared to hold her job open for her. The employee's contract did not provide for termination on expiry of her statutory right to return from maternity leave, and both parties had indicated that they regarded the employment as continuing after the notified date, notwithstanding the employee's sick leave.