Hi there, there is no minimum period the role has to be dormant for before you can recruit someone else but you have to consider hr ability to challenge this. If you tried to argue that the role is redundant and then recruited someone new a week later then your reasons for terminating her could appear unfair. Whilst she is not protected against unfair dismissal having less than 2 years service, as discussed she could try and argue that the dismissal was discriminatory because it was due to her pregnancy and redundancy was only a cover to get rid of her. There is no minimum service required to claim discrimination so she could claim that even with less than 2 years in the job. However, there is a time limit of 3 months to make a claim from the date of dismissal so ideally you want to ensure you do not replace her for that period. If you then recruit someone new in the position once that time has passed she would not be able to make a claim anyway, even if she could have within the time limit. So the ‘safe’ period is 3 months.
Looking at the termination clause there is no provision to terminate her employment by paying her in lieu of notice so you would have to allow her to work her notice period, or if she is off sick for all or parts of that period – to still allow her to be an employee for that time. Saying that you are able to mutually agree an immediate termination by paying her in lieu of notice so you could so as long as you have her consent.
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it would be a claim for compensation for injury to feelings and also compensation for loss of earnings as a result of the discriminatory dismissal
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