Editor's message: Pregnancy and maternity discrimination differs from other forms of direct discrimination because it does not require the complainant to show that she has been treated less favourably than someone else. Instead, she must show that she has been treated unfavourably because of her pregnancy or maternity leave. For example, if you have an employee who has high absence levels due to pregnancy-related sickness, it would be unlawful for you to take action under your absence policy as a result of this. There is no need for the employee to compare her treatment to that of someone who is not pregnant.
There is no provision under the Equality Act 2010 for indirect discrimination in relation to the protected characteristic of pregnancy and maternity. Many cases are connected with the refusal of part-time or job-share work to employees returning from maternity leave and these would be considered under the provisions relating to indirect sex discrimination.
Susie Munro, senior employment law editor
Special guest Jo Broadbent, who is a professional support lawyer with Hogan Lovells, joins us to discuss the rights that apply to pregnant employees and those on maternity leave in a redundancy situation, including the practical steps employers can take to avoid falling foul of the law.
A charity has called for greater legal protections for new mothers, claiming the Government has failed to act on the recommendations of the Women and Equalities Committee inquiry into pregnancy and maternity discrimination.
Updated to include information on Michalak v General Medical Council and others, in which the Supreme Court held that the employment tribunal had jurisdiction to hear a discrimination claim against the General Medical Council.
In this Spanish case, the Advocate General has suggested that a collective redundancy does not always qualify as an "exceptional case" permitting the dismissal of a pregnant worker.
Kirsti Laird is senior associate at Charles Russell Speechlys. She rounds up the latest rulings.
Cases on appeal provides news on key case law developments that are expected.
Updated to include the increase in statutory maternity pay in force from 2 April 2017.
The Government has pledged to ensure that pregnant women and new mothers are sufficiently protected from redundancy.
What were the most significant employment case law decisions in 2016? Stephen Simpson counts down the 10 most important judgments for employers this year.
In Peninsula Business Services Ltd v Donaldson EAT/0249/15, the EAT held that childcare vouchers under a salary-sacrifice scheme constitute "remuneration", with the result that there is no legal obligation to continue their provision during maternity leave.
HR and legal information and guidance relating to pregnancy and maternity discrimination.