I had an amazing phone call this week.
It was from a woman who had been fired from children’s nursery job – keep ‘children’s nursery’ in mind as you read the rest.
She’d been working there for two months, but she hadn’t been given a contract (legally you have to give staff a contract within 2 months of them starting).
And then she discovered that she was pregnant.
She informed her line manager, and she was fired.
Yes, she was fired for being pregnant.
To add insult to injury, the line manager then asked if she’d considered abortion, as a solution to the “problem”.
I’m guessing you’re as speechless as I am, so I thought I’d give you a couple of lines to draw breath.
It really shouldn’t need to be said in 2018 that you CANNOT fire a woman for being pregnant.
This has been the law for DECADES!
How can it be possible that managers think that it is acceptable to fire someone on this basis?
I can hear a small voice at the back of the room saying “But it isn’t fair that her employer would have to pay her while she is on maternity”. If that was true, you might have a case.
But it isn’t.
You have to have worked for an employer for 26 weeks before your Qualifying Week (15 weeks before the due date) to be paid SMP.
If you haven’t, then you are paid Maternity Allowance from the Job Centre. Not your employer.
So back to pregnancy and abortion.
I am of course advising this lady about raising a case in Early Conciliation and then tribunal against the employer. How much can she claim? As it IS discrimination, an UNLIMITED amount.
Tens of thousands of pounds.
All because the employer didn’t train their managers to deal with HR issues correctly.
I’m still speechless.