Pregnancy and Maternity Discrimination – How To Achieve a Settlement Agreement

Maternity and pregnancy discrimination is a very real issue experienced by women across the country.

A shocking report published by the Equality and Human Rights Commission in 2017 found that 77% of mothers felt that they had been discriminated against at work. Of this 77%, only 28% raised this with a manager, 3% submitted a grievance and 1% pursued it in an employment tribunal.

New mothers who take a year out of the office often return to find that they are no longer wanted by their employer, or that they are to be made “redundant”. If this were to happen to you, it could have significant adverse financial, career and other implications. Also, if your employer wants you to leave, they are highly likely to suggest a settlement agreement while you’re still on maternity leave and that is, of course, a time when you are probably not in the best position to negotiate.

Full transcript:

Thousands of women are made redundant or
forced out of their roles every year
when they're pregnant or a maternity
leave recent reports have shown that
problems getting worse not better in
this video I'm going to look at what can
you do if your rights have been breached
and then look at tips for negotiating a
settlement agreement then I'm going to
go into a little bit about employment
law what is discrimination and can your
employer and that make you redundant
when you're pregnant or maternity leave
so topic 1
firstly look you cannot do if your
rights have been breached if you've been
discriminated against and there are
several things that you can do about it
you could raise a grievance with your
employer you could ultimately go to an
employment tribunal but first you might
want to try negotiating a settlement
agreement so you don't have to go
through either of these processes many
women don't raise any complaints about
the way that they're treated when
they're on maternity leave often because
either they don't have the time or the
energy or they just feel that nothing
would be done about it but if this is
your situation I would strongly
encourage you to at least try and have a
without prejudice conversation with your
employer to try and negotiate some kind
of settlement if you do decide you want
to leave your job the last thing your
employer wants is for it to be held that
they have discriminated against a woman
who is pregnant or a new mother this not
only looks bad to the public generally
but also to their customers to their
clients and to the rest of their
workforce the reason there aren't very
many claims which get to improvement
tribunals is because employers almost
always agree to settle so here are my
tips for negotiating a settlement
agreement with you in Korea firstly do
you have any documentary evidence did
you get an email from HR saying that
your job has been allocated to somebody
else if so keep a copy of that email
next emphasize to your employer the
importance of what's happened and the
impact that it's had on you with
discrimination claims you claim injury
to feelings not just for your loss of
earnings so the worse the impact is on
you the more that you can claim in
compensation
next they to employ that you will raise
a grievance this not only creates a
paper trail but it also is the evidence
that your employer has discriminated
against you and that you've put this
forward if your employee
then treat you badly because you've
raised a complaint about discrimination
you can say that you've been victimized
certainly if your employer doesn't agree
to settle with you you should certainly
raise a grievance is there an enhanced
rate of maternity pay that would be
repayable if you don't go back to work
after a certain period if so if you
agree a settlement agreement make sure
it says that this sum won't be
repairable it depends on the
circumstances but you can argue that
your notice pay should be paid at your
full rate of pay even if you're still
receiving SMP or no pay at all and also
you're entitled to receive any statutory
maternity pay that has not yet been paid
lastly be willing to compromise you
should aim high but in order to get a
deal done you may have to compromise to
get that settlement agreement signed so
topic 2 that's that a little bit of a
look at employment law just so you have
those tools at your fingertips when
you're negotiating your settlement
agreement it's important to know a
little bit of law so firstly what is
discrimination it's unlawful to treat a
woman unfavorably because she's pregnant
or because she's taking maternity leave
and this protection starts at the
beginning of your pregnancy when your
employer knows that you're pregnant
right through to the end of your
maternity leave so what is unfavorable
treatment so it could be being dismissed
because you're pregnant or maternity
leave it could be your employer assuming
that after you've had a baby you're less
interested in work and therefore they
give you less interesting work or or
less important work and lastly it could
be excluding you from business trips or
things like that just because you're
pregnant be aware that you do need to
take action quickly though there are
very short time limits in employment law
there's only three months less one day
from the date of the Act that you're
complaining of to take any action and
this is even if you're on maternity
leave so you do need to think about
these things quite quickly
lysee topic 3 is your employer actually
allowed to make you redundant after your
maternity leave you're generally allowed
to come back to the same role you had
before but it is possible for your
employer to make you redundant if they
follow the correct procedures
importantly when your maternity leave if
your role is going to be made redundant
you have special protection which means
that you have to be offered any
suitable alternative vacancy in front of
anybody else without any kind of
competitive interview if your employer
doesn't do this then you're dismissed or
maybe automatically unfair and it could
also be maternity discrimination I hope
you found this video useful if you want
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