By law (Equality Act 2010), you must not discriminate against someone you employ, or are considering employing, because of:
- their pregnancy
- an illness related to their pregnancy, including related time off
- maternity pay or leave they take, or plan to take
The law applies regardless of how long the person has been employed.
It applies to:
- anyone legally classed as an employee or worker
- some self-employed people, if the person has to do the work personally (this is a complex area so get legal advice if it affects you)
The person could make a claim to an employment tribunal if they believe they've been discriminated against because of pregnancy and maternity.
- dismissing them
- not offering them a job
- changing their pay or other terms
- forcing them to work while on maternity leave
- stopping them returning to work because they're breastfeeding
The law covers the person from the point they become pregnant until either:
- their maternity leave ends
- they return to work
- they leave their job
If you do dismiss someone while they're pregnant or on maternity leave, you must give them the reasons in writing.