In Caledonia Bureau Investment & Property v Caffrey, the EAT holds that the automatically unfair dismissal provision which protects a woman against dismissal for a reason "connected with her pregnancy" is not limited to dismissals occurring during the period of pregnancy and maternity leave.
In (1) Crees v Royal London Mutual Insurance Society Ltd and (2) Greaves v Kwik Save Stores Ltd, the Court of Appeal holds that two employees completely and effectively exercised the right to return to work following extended maternity leave when they notified their employers of the day on which they proposed to return.
The dismissal of a pregnant employee could not be said to have been for a reason connected with her pregnancy, and so automatically unfair, as the employer did not know that she was pregnant until after it gave her notice of dismissal, holds the EAT in Dentons Directories Ltd v Hobbs.
In Lewis Woolf Griptight Ltd v Corfield 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.
In McPherson v Drumpark House the EAT holds that the employment contract of an employee who loses her statutory right to return to work after maternity leave does not necessarily subsist during the period when she receives statutory maternity pay.
The contract of employment of a woman who was unfit to return to work after maternity leave, already extended by four weeks because of her illness, terminated by operation of contract and of statute when she did not return on the notified date, holds the EAT in Crees v Royal London Insurance.
Dismissing a woman while she was pregnant, in accordance with the employer's sickness absence rules, was not an act of sex discrimination under either UK or EC law, holds the Court of Session in Brown v Rentokil Ltd, even though the employee's illness was directly due to her pregnancy.
Where an employee is entitled to return to work after extended maternity absence, but it is not practicable by reason of redundancy for her employer to allow her to return, she is entitled to be offered any suitable alternative work which becomes available after the redundancy situation arose, holds the EAT in Philip Hodges & Co v Kell.
In Hilton International Hotels (UK) Ltd v Kaissi (23 February 1994) EOR56C, the EAT holds that a woman on maternity leave whose contract of employment continues can be unfairly dismissed, even if she has failed to comply with the statutory notification requirements laid down by the Employment Protection (Consolidation) Act.
The contract of an employee who is on maternity leave may continue during her absence, even if she has failed to comply with the statutory notice requirements and so has no right to return to work, confirms the EAT in Hilton International Hotels (UK) Ltd v Kaissi.
HR and legal information and guidance relating to automatically unfair dismissals for family-related reasons.