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Ben Jones
Ben Jones, UK Lawyer
Category: Employment Law
Satisfied Customers: 47881
Experience:  Qualified Employment Solicitor - Please start your question with 'For Ben Jones'
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I am 4 months pregnant and have signed a 12 month contract

Customer Question

I am 4 months pregnant and have signed a 12 month contract before my employer was aware of my pregnancy. Due to pregnancy I will only be able to work for maximum of 4 and a half months
Can my employer revoke the offer of employment due to this?
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Employment Law
Expert:  Ben Jones replied 1 year ago.
Hello how long have you worked there for
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Hello, I am due to start working in a month
Expert:  Ben Jones replied 1 year ago.
You have protection against being treated detrimentally on grounds of pregnancy. The employer cannot refuse to employ you just because you are pregnant, even if that means you only work for a short period of time before you have to go off on maternity leave. If they refuse to go ahead with the job offer and retract it, that would amount to discrimination and you will be able to challenge it further if necessary such as by making a claim I the employment tribunal. I hope it would not come to that though and the employer will meet its legal obligations. This is your basic legal position. I have more detailed advice for you in terms of the steps you need to take should it come to the offer being withdrawn, which I wish to discuss so please take a second to leave a positive rating for the service so far (by selecting 3, 4 or 5 stars) and I can continue with that and answer any further questions you may have. Don’t worry, leaving a rating will not close the question and we can continue this discussion. Thank you
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Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Thank you for the advice. I am interested in the steps I would need to take if the offer is withdrawn within the next month and whether the employer has a valid defense as I will not be able to work for the full 12 months.
I am also worried about taking off days due to illness and pregnancy related health problems as I have been told my employer is able to dismiss me once I am no longer entitled to sick pay.
Expert:  Ben Jones replied 1 year ago.
It is completely incorrect that the employer can dismiss you once you are no longer entitled to sick pay. You are entitled to take off time for pregnancy-related illness. If an employee is treated unfavourably because of a pregnancy-related illness, this will constitute unlawful pregnancy and maternity discrimination under the Equality Act 2010 and any related dismissal will be automatically unfair. If the offer is withdrawn, you should contact the employer and remind them of their legal obligations in terms of treatment of regnant employees. Ask them to reconsider their position and proceed with the offer, otherwise you would have to pursue this as discrimination in the employment tribunal. A new feature in the employment tribunal’s claims process is mandatory early conciliation with ACAS. This requires prospective claimants to notify ACAS and provide details of their intended claim and they would then try to negotiate between the claimant and respondent to seek out of court settlement in order to avoid having to take the claim to the tribunal. It is possible for the parties to refuse to engage in these negotiations, or that they are unsuccessful, in which case they would get permission to proceed with making the claim in the tribunal. If negotiations are initiated and settlement is reached, then the claimant would agree not to proceed with the claim in return for the agreed financial settlement. The conciliation procedure and the form to fill in can be found here: https://ec.acas.org.uk/Submission/SingleClaimantPage In terms of the time limits within which a claim must be presented, the early conciliation process places a ‘stop’ on that and the time between notifying ACAS and them issuing permission to proceed with the claim would not count for the purposes of these time limits. In your case, the claim must be started within 3 months of the offer being withdrawn.