On zero hours and manager role taken away when I said I was pregnant

I work in hospitality and have been employed on a zero hours contract for nearly 10 years. I worked my way up from cleaner to bar supervisor to eventually duty manager looking after the bar, but without a proper contract. I recently informed my employer that I am pregnant and have now been offered an admin role. They have officially announced that the bar manager aspect of my role has been given to someone else even though I have not formally accepted any job change as I was waiting for a formal discussion to find out exactly what duties and responsibilities they expect me to have. I have now been given a casual worker contract to read and sign, but have also been advised I can raise any questions I have. My main issue is not with the role they are offering me, but with the lack of job security and the fact that I could be phased out even though I have consistently worked 30 hours and above over the course of my employment. I don’t know what to do for the best and feel as though I am being constructively dismissed.

It is unclear whether you were offered this new role because you are pregnant or it is simply a coincidence. Nevertheless, you seem to want the role, but are not happy with the contract that has been offered to you.

Unfavourable treatment because of pregnancy is unlawful. However, the change of role does not seem to be unfavourable treatment as you appear to be happy with the change.

Whether or not offering you the casual worker contract is unfavourable treatment will depend on whether this is because of your pregnancy. If the company offers everyone casual worker contracts, this would seem unlikely.

If you are currently on a zero hours contract (albeit not one that is written down), then this would also be a casual worker arrangement. The new contract would therefore simply be confirming your casual worker status in writing.

However, it strikes me that with your change in role, the casual nature or your employment is likely to change. It would be unusual for an admin worker to be working shifts as one would working in a bar. If in fact you are to be offered fixed hours, then you should ask for the contract to reflect the reality of those fixed hours.

If your old role has been given away, then again this could be unlawful pregnancy discrimination if the reason is that you are pregnant. However, it seems that the reason it has been given away is because your employer has offered you this new position, which you have provisionally accepted. Whether or not you have a claim for unfair dismissal will depend on whether you can establish employee status. Before advising you I would need to know more about how your zero hours contract worked.

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