Can I Be Made Redundant On Maternity Leave ?
Are you pregnant and feeling worried that you may be made redundant due to the economic uncertainty around COVID-19? My Bump Pay lets you know if you are at a risk of being made redundant while on maternity leave.
Can I be made redundant on maternity leave ?
If there is a genuine business reason unrelated to your pregnancy or maternity leave then yes you can be made redundant.
Genuine business reason includes
- The business is no longer trading either temporarily or permanently
- The business relocates and you can’t get to the new location
- Less people are required for the amount of work
You cannot be made redundant because you are pregnant or on maternity leave.
During this time of economic upheaval many businesses sadly have to make redundancies. The process by which businesses select who is made redundant must be fair and a woman’s pregnancy or maternity leave must not be a factor.
If you are on maternity leave, you have enhanced protections against redundancy. If there is a consultation process happening in relation to your role you must be part of the consultation process whilst on maternity leave.
Should you find that you are made redundant because of your pregnancy, maternity leave or a related reason this is classed as unfair dismissal and unlawful discrimination. Please do seek legal advice if you find yourself in this situation.
Businesses must make sure there is fair procedure for considering suitable alternative work for those going through the redundancy process. Women on maternity leave should have preference over other employees.
For the process to be considered as fair the following must occur:
- The redundancy needs to be genuine
- You must be involved in the consultation process
- The selection criteria used must not discriminate
- Alternative work must be considered
“If there is no suitable alternative vacancy, a woman can be made redundant during her statutory maternity leave provided the reason for redundancy is unconnected with her pregnancy or maternity leave and you have followed a fair redundancy process.”
If you decline an offer of a suitable alternative role, your redundancy may be considered as fair.
If I am made redundant will I get maternity pay ?
If you are made redundant before going on maternity leave but after the beginning of the 15th week before the baby is due and you qualify for maternity leave then you will be paid statutory maternity pay and redundancy pay. If you have any enhanced maternity pay in your contract then the enhanced pay will end when your contract ends.
A Change In The Law ? More Protection For Mothers.
Currently the law around being offered a suitable alternative role applies only while you are on maternity leave. At the moment the Government intends to extend the period of protection so that it starts from the date the you let your employer in writing that you are pregnant to six months after the end of maternity leave.