Temporary contract not renewed due to pregnancy

I currently work for an organisation on two contracts, one is a four-hour permanent contract and the other a 27-hour temporary one. The temporary contract which started in October 2013 and has been renewed /extended several times is due to end on 30th September. I am due to start maternity leave at the end of July. During a conversation with my line manager it was revealed that the advert for my replacement would be advertised until the end of March 16, but that my temporary contract would not be renewed because I would be on maternity leave and that had I not been going on maternity leave a request would have been made for my contract to be extended again. On my contract it states that the reason for continued renewal is that “service is unable to open to public without this post”. Therefore it would be difficult for employer to argue that my post is no longer needed. My job has now been advertised with no mention that it is maternity cover. What rights do I have regarding the non-renewal of the contract?

You should ask HR for clarification on what they expect will happen with your role. It seems as though you are receiving unfavourable treatment because of your pregnancy. However, it may be that there has been some confusion and that the position should have been advertised as maternity cover / temporary on the basis that they do expect you to return after your maternity leave. If that is the case, it would be better to try and sort it out at this stage, rather than there be any confusion on your return.

If it is that HR are saying that you have no rights over the role and it is being advertised with no thought to you being on maternity leave / returning, it may be that you need to raise a grievance in relation to the way in which the situation is being handled. The last resort would obviously be resigning and claiming constructive dismissal, but I would strongly suggest that you take legal advice, depending upon HR’s response, before doing so.

If you need to speak with us concerning this, please contact Danielle on 0161 930 5278.

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