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Ask Buachaill Your Own Question
Buachaill, Barrister
Category: Republic of Ireland Law
Satisfied Customers: 10955
Experience:  Barrister 17 years experience
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I am asking the following question friend. She

Customer Question

I am asking the following question for a friend. She was offered a job which she accepted and signed a contract in or about July 2015. one of the conditions of the job was some foreign travel. One month later she discovered that she was pregnant. She spoke to the company and advised them that she was now pregnant and that air travel might be a problem. At that meeting she was told that that should be ok. They have now stated that it is a problem, want to know specifically when she can't travel. The travel would be to Africia and India. She feels that she could not do it while pregnant... Does she have any rights or are the company within their rights to say ...she does not fullfil the contract and therefore they can't employ her.
They have also told her that she is not entitled to maternity leave until she is a year with the this correct..!
Thank you
Submitted: 2 years ago.
Category: Republic of Ireland Law
Expert:  Buachaill replied 2 years ago.
1. The company is wrong on both points. Firstly, a company cannot discriminate against a woman who is pregnant. Removing her job because she cannot fly is direct discrimination on the basis of her pregnancy and is contrary to law. However, if this lady is able to fly, then she ought to fly. However, if her pregnancy makes flying unsafe, then she is not obligated to fly. However, here medical opinion will govern. Secondly, the right to statutory maternity leave applies whether you are in the employment a day or a year. So, this lady will be able to take maternity leave when she wants it. However, what is probably correct, if that the company's own paid maternity leave only kicks in after a year of employment. Accordingly, it is not the fact of being able to take maternity leave which is prevented. That is governed by law. HOwever, what is not governed by law is whether that maternity leave is paid or not. The law gives no right to paid maternity leave. That is something that is left to the discretion of the employer. So your friend will be able to take maternity leave just it will not be paid time. You are entitled to 26 weeks’ maternity leave together with 16 weeks additional unpaid maternity leave. Your friend will be entitled to claim Maternity Benefit from the Department of Social Protection when on maternity leave.