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  • Frequently Asked Employment Questions - Is redundancy an easy way to get rid of staff on maternity leave?
    No, never. Any attempt to make a woman redundant for a reason(s) related to her pregnancy amounts to unlawful discrimination. Indeed, those on maternity leave who have been provisionally selected for redundancy have a statutory right to priority over other potentially redundant employees when suitable alternative employment is being considered. You can only select a woman on maternity leave for redundancy if you can show that the entire selection and dismissal process is a fair one. This can be done by: (1)...
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  • Frequently Asked Employment Questions - How do we reduce the risk of employing someone likely to fall pregnant quickly?
    If you don't tread carefully here you may face a claim of sex discrimination. Even if you ask all job applicants if they plan to start a family within the next six months, you're on dodgy ground as an inference of sex discrimination exists. It can also be implied if the job goes to a much older woman. So the safest way to reduce the risk is to ask all candidates where they see themselves in both one year and three years' time. Then watch for their reaction and any hesitation. By then asking further neutral questions...
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  • Frequently Asked Employment Questions - A pregnant employee has taken lots of sick leave. Is there anything we can do?
    Yes, but you'll need to be very careful to avoid allegations of discrimination. Start by reviewing sickness absence records for both before and during pregnancy to establish whether there's any pattern to the absences. For example, since you were notified of the pregnancy, are most or all of the absences listed as being pregnancy related? If so, look at what she suffered from previously, such as recurrent stomach bugs or headaches and ask yourself why she no longer suffers from them. Then hold a back-to-work...
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