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Ben Jones
Ben Jones, UK Lawyer
Category: Employment Law
Satisfied Customers: 44953
Experience:  Qualified Employment Solicitor - Please start your question with 'For Ben Jones'
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I run a small business of 10 staff. I recently employed

Customer Question

Hi,
I run a small business of 10 staff.
I recently employed our first sales account manager to help drive new sales within the business. However within a 6 weeks of her starting, she's announced to me that's she's pregnant.
Now this wouldn't be a problem, however she is suffering from so much sickness, that she is unable to work.
She's not been to work for over a month due to not leaving work.
She had a doctors sick note signing her off work.
However, at the end of the sick term she then went on holiday to Span for 2 weeks. She has just returned and now is apparently too sick for work again and providing another sick note.
My company can not afford to pay her, as she not bringing in sales in this period.
She is on a probation period, but can I let her go?
If she stays, it could damage my business as I don't have the funds to pay a sales manager that doesn't work
Can you help?
Regard
Matt
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Employment Law
Expert:  Ben Jones replied 1 year ago.
Hello, my name is***** am a solicitor on this site and it is my pleasure to assist you with your question today. How much time has she had off in total?
Expert:  Ben Jones replied 1 year ago.
Hello, my name is***** am a solicitor on this site and it is my pleasure to assist you with your question today. Pregnant employees have rather strong rights in the workplace and one of the main ones is that they cannot be dismissed or be treated detrimentally because of their pregnancy, otherwise it would amount to pregnancy discrimination. So even if she is off sick because of health issues relating to her pregnancy you cannot go ahead and dismiss her because of that or because you know that she may not be around in the future, such as if she decides to take maternity leave. The fact that he is still on probation makes no difference because the reason for dismissal would still be her pregnancy.
However, it is not all bad news and you have the following rights:
• If she is off sick you do not have to pay her full pay, unless you have a company sick pay policy scheme which entitles her to that. She would instead be entitled to Statutory Sick Pay, which is only around £88 a week. You can check the eligibility criteria here: https://www.gov.uk/statutory-sick-pay/eligibility
• When she goes on maternity leave she would not be entitled to any maternity pay from you unless she has worked for you continuously for at least 26 weeks up to the ‘qualifying week’ - the 15th week before the expected week of childbirth.
• You may still dismiss her for reasons not related to her pregnancy, such as performance, but cannot link these to her pregnancy. For example if she is not able to sell because she is off sick due to a pregnancy-related illness, even though her performance may be poor it would be due to her pregnancy. So you have to find a reason which in no way relates to her pregnancy and be able to justify that it was the reason for dismissal, not the fact that she was pregnant.
So you would most likely have to keep her but there are ways to reduce your liabilities in terms of paying her and mitigate any potential damage to the business.
I trust this has answered your query. I would be grateful if you could please take a second to leave a positive rating (selecting 3, 4 or 5 starts at the top of the page). If for any reason you are unhappy with my response or if you need me to clarify anything before you go - please get back to me on here and I will assist further as best as I can. Thank you
Expert:  Ben Jones replied 1 year ago.
Hello, I see you have read my response to your query. Please let me know if this has answered your original question or if you need me to clarify anything else for you in relation to this? If your query has been dealt with please take a second to leave a positive rating by selecting 3, 4 or 5 starts from the top of the page. If you need further help please get back to me on here and I will assist as best as I can. Thank you.
Expert:  Ben Jones replied 1 year ago.
Hello, do you need any further assistance or are you happy with the above response? Look forward to hearing from you.

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