Q And A
Right to maternity leave: ask the expert
I have been employed for last eight months with my current employer and am five months pregnant. As per the contract, I am allowed to go on maternity leave after completing one year with the firm. I applied for maternity leave, but haven't heard from my manager. I was just told that I have performance appraisal next week and this will decide my maternity leave or benefits. I am bit worried, as I fear I might be fired. Is this legal for the employer to do? I am in a lot of stress because of this.
Answer by Vanessa Wheeler
Every employee after even only one day of employment is entitled to take a full year of maternity leave. This is a statutory right.
If you are sacked because you are pregnant this is sex discrimination and automatic unfair dismissal. The same applies if you are sacked for some other reason, but you think the real reason is related to your pregnancy. Feel free to contact me if you have any further problems.
Vanessa Wheeler is a solicitor at Setfords Solicitors. You can contact her on 01732 600104 for legal advice on business and commercial law, including franchise and contractual matters. She can also assist with employment matters.