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Employment law recognises that pregnant employees have a unique position in the workplace and need unique protection as a result. 

Here are 5 things every employer should know about pregnant employees:

  1. Risk assessment – Under Regulation 16(2) Management of Health and Safety at Work Regulations 1999 all employers must assess workplace risks and alter working conditions or hours of work to avoid any significant risk to the health and safety of new or expectant mothers in the workplace. 
  2. Automatic unfair dismissal – During pregnancy a woman is automatically unfairly dismissed (so no need for two years’ qualifying service) if her dismissal is connected with her pregnancy (s99 Employment Rights Act 1996).
  3. Redundancy protection – Where an employer is informed of an employee’s pregnancy on or after 6th April 2024, a new law means that the employee has additional protection from redundancy for the full period of their pregnancy. She must be given first refusal of any available suitable alternative jobs if a redundancy situation arises. 
  4. Discrimination – Pregnant employees are protected from being treated unfavourably because of their pregnancy. The employee doesn’t need to show that she has been treated ‘less favourably’ than someone who isn’t pregnant – no comparator is required. 
  5. Time off for ante natal appointments – pregnant employees are entitled to paid time off to attend ante natal appointments.

Find out how we can help.  Our partner, Jon Dunkley, heads the Wollens specialist Employment Department.  Contact him today for an informal chat, without obligation on 01271 342268 or via email at [email protected].