Can my promotion be taken away?: ask the expert

I was recently promoted to be a Director in the company I work for. Two weeks later I discovered I was pregnant. Not ideal timing, but I am over the moon. I am worried firstly that when they find out that I am expecting that they will take back my promotion – can they do this? Secondly, it is likely that the business will sell during the period when I am on OML. I have a bonus as part of my package which is linked to the sale. If I am not actively in the business at the time of the sale, can they refuse to pay me the sale bonus I would otherwise be entitled to? I’d really appreciate your help – I can’t find any information on this.


Now the company have promoted you they can not take it back.  However, before you actually announce your news I would get confirmation in  an email or you could email saying you are delighted to accept (keep a copy of that email safe) which is evidence of the offer.  Presumably you would start in your new role before you go off on OML and under the rules of TUPE which is the legislation that governs business transfers your terms and conditions should remain the same, therefore you should return to your promoted role on your return.  This includes the bonus you are entitled too as all benefits continue throughout the whole period of maternity leave.

If the promotion is withdrawn following your announcement, then you could claim sex discrimination related to pregnancy in an employment tribunal.  If the transfer occurs whilst you are on OML you should be consulted with ie invited in for a consultation meeting to discuss the transfer and any concerns you have such as your bonus.  If you are not consulted with by both your current and new employer you can claim compensation in an employment tribunal.   If you don’t get your bonus you can also make a claim for that in an employment tribunal.

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