On a fixed-term contract and pregnant. What are my rights?

I started my role in February on a 12-month fixed-term contract to cover someone’s maternity leave. I have been in conversation with my manager about being made permanent for several months. Shortly after, the person whose cover I was doing handed in their notice, with her contract ending in the summer and essentially leaving the permanent role she had open. I also found out that I am pregnant, due in Spring, a month after my contract ends. I know I will be eligible for SMP regardless of what happens to my contract. Since then, there has also been some reshuffling of the team, with the team being expanded and roles either changing or being added and I have been told that is why my contract has not been sorted. I have also now been told that I need to wait for budgets to be signed off to sort out my contract because then they will know what roles are available. However, I have seen that recruitment for one of the new roles in the team has started already and wonder how this can happen. I know some of this will be down to internal processes but I do wonder what my rights are and what I am able to do?
Pregnant woman working

A pregnant woman hand on belly closeup uses laptop in the office

I would discuss with HR (if you have someone) to get more information about what exactly is going on. It is sometimes the case that the manager might not have informed HR of all the information (also make it clear that you are pregnant), and that you want to apply.  It is also often the case that the role will be advertised internally and externally.

Unfortunately, an employer is under no legal obligation to offer a post-holder on a fixed-term contract the same job if it is made permanent. However, they must give them access to apply for permanent vacancies. They must also explain why the fixed-term contract is coming to an end and a right to appeal should be given. It can be a valid reason that the role is made permanent, but you weren’t successful at interview. If the reason for the ended FTC has any relation to pregnancy or maternity then this is against the law.

Due to the fact that you are pregnant if the role comes to an end and you are made redundant then you must be offered any suitable alternative vacancy which exists.



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