Maternity rights when employed by an overseas company in the UK: ask the expert

I work for an overseas company as a rep, but am employed in the UK and still pay my taxes in the UK. I have been with them for nearly two years. I have, however, had time off in between seasons as there is not always work available with them. I have had around 4 months in total off. Can my employer terminate my contract if they find out I’m pregnant and would I be entitled to any maternity pay from them? I am around 9 weeks now. I am also concerned that they will try and use a different reason as the cause for termination of employment. I know my manager suspects my pregnancy as they have already mentioned it to me.

Whether UK law applies in your case partly depends on what country the company is registered in (within the EU or not, as in the EU there are mandatory rules of domestic legislation that automatically apply). Also you should check your contract as most contracts of employment for workers based overseas to their company should contain a clause that states which jurisdiction the contract is governed by. Much is based on a variety of factors to ascertain whether the employee has ‘strong connections’ with the UK or the home country, eg where they own a home, the currency they are paid in, tax paid etc. This case sounds like you should be covered, but I would suggest you take legal advice.

Also if you have had time off in between seasons, this could affect your continuous service which would also impact on what legislation applies to you anyway.

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