Taking maternity leave can be an exciting time when you are preparing for and getting used to your new life. However, worries about your employment status can cause significant stress.
Can you be dismissed from your job during maternity leave? We look more closely at this workplace concern and explore your rights.
Can You Be Sacked During Maternity Leave?
You can be dismissed from your position during your maternity leave under certain circumstances. A fair dismissal procedure must be conducted. In most cases, dismissal is considered fair if you have been working for an employer for less than two years. It is fair, regardless of your maternity leave, if you are not considered capable of performing your job. This is also true if you have displayed poor conduct or have broken a law while working. If the workplace is facing restructuring and/or making redundancies you may be fairly dismissed.
What Are The Reasons For Dismissal?
If you are pregnant, you should be aware that you may not be fairly dismissed for reasons relating to your pregnancy or maternity leave. If you need to take sick leave, or struggle to perform your normal duties, reasonable adjustments should be made. Should your employer let you go due to your pregnancy without making accommodations, this is considered discriminatory.
Your Legal Rights During This Time
In the UK, you do have some protections regarding your job during maternity leave. After Ordinary Maternity Leave, which is the initial six months, you retain the right to go back to your job under the same terms. This changes slightly under Additional Maternity Leave (the latter six months). Here, your employer may provide you with an alternative role with similar conditions. If you are fairly dismissed, you should also be aware that you are entitled to a notice period. If you are unfairly dismissed, the Equality Act states that pregnancy falls under a “protected period” until you return to work. This ensures you are entitled to maternity leave without consequences such as job loss.
How Bowsers Solicitors Can Help
If you are concerned that you may be facing dismissal during maternity leave then you will need support from the experts. Understanding your full rights and options is essential in order to decide whether your dismissal is fair or unfair. Reach out to Bowsers Solicitors for advice on your legal rights and how we can help you.
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