I have less than two years employment and my contract ends just after I go on maternity leave. Do I have a right to and a priority for any suitable alternative employment going? I know I cannot claim unfair dismissal so if I am not offered any suitable alternative employment is there nothing much I can do or would I be able to claim potential maternity discrimination [if I can prove it is because of maternity leave that I am not being offered the alternative role]?
If the woman is on a fixed-term contract and it ends, the non-renewal of a contract is counted as dismissal. Although there is no expressed clause to re-employ them at the end of their maternity leave, there will be a question on why is it not renewed.
If it is because she was pregnant or on maternity leave then that is seen as automatically unfair dismissal and even without two years’ service then she can make a claim. She could also claim for maternity and pregnancy discrimination. If the reason is because of redundancy then she should be offered suitable alternative employment (over any employee in a similar situation who is not pregnant, due to the maternity and parental leave regulations). If there is an alternative role then it needs to be offered to her at the end of her current role, to start at the end of her maternity leave.