Pregnancy and maternity discrimination

If you believe you have been treated less favourably on the grounds of your pregnancy or because of your taking maternity leave then please contact one of our solicitors for advice.

The Equality Act 2010 (“EA 2010”) protects a wide range of workers, including job applicants and employees, from being discriminated against in a wide range of situations (including, for example, recruitment, training and dismissal).

Your employer is prohibited from:

  1. Treating you less favourably because of your pregnancy or because of an illness you have suffered as a result of your pregnancy during the protected period without a good reason (direct discrimination)
  2. Treating you less favourably because you are taking or have taken compulsory maternity leave or because you are exercising, have exercised or are seeking to exercise your statutory right to ordinary or additional maternity leave

There is no occupational requirement justification for pregnancy and maternity discrimination.

Your employer will be vicariously liable if you are discriminated against or victimised by another employee. Your employer will also be liable if you are harassed by a third party, the harassment took place on two or more occasions, your employer knew of the harassment and failed to take reasonably practicable steps to prevent the harassment. The offending employee or third party may also be liable.

Compensation for discrimination

If you were to be successful in an age discrimination complaint to the Employment Tribunal then depending on the circumstances you may be awarded a sum in compensation (including compensation for injury to feelings). The Tribunal can also make a declaration as to the rights of both parties and make an appropriate recommendation (including reinstatement, if applicable, or an apology).


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