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SS Legal Advisor
SS Legal Advisor, Advocate
Category: Law
Satisfied Customers: 1047
Experience:  Senior Caseworker at DL Solicitors
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Hope you are well. Just wanted to ask you a question if I

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Good morning, hope you are well. Just wanted to ask you a question if I can make a case for discrimination at work.
JA: Have you discussed this discrimination issue with a manager or HR? Or with a lawyer?
Customer: Yes. I wrote them email for written reason why did they ended my contract and didn’t ask anyone for advice yet. Just was reading on the citizen advice web
JA: What is your employment status? Are you an employee, freelancer, consultant or contractor? Do you belong to a union?
Customer: I am an agency worker. Working there from 19.4.2021, 13.5 I started my sick note because of pregnancy related sickness and they ended my contract -
JA: Is there anything else the Lawyer should know before I connect you? Rest assured that they'll be able to help you.
Customer: when I confronted them they ended my contract unfairly they sent me an email that they just moved me under “home payroll” and made me sign new contract. Few days later they sent me SSP1 form and the reason why they can’t pay me SSP in the form is - contract has ended. And on the phone they told me that basically I didn’t loose job. But when I feel better - they will take me back - so it means they terminated me because of pregnancy related sickness so they don’t have to pay me SSP. If I understand correctly.. do you think I have some option to defend myself? Thank you
Customer: replied 13 days ago.
I want to add that they explained to me they did it because my contract is weekly contract - but if I weren’t sick - they would not terminated my contract and they would still keep me under their payroll - because my performance was great and they need people so badly anyway - every week they are hiring new and new stuff
I am an experienced legal advisor and I am happy to answer your question.Your employers actions were unfair but that does not necessarily make it unlawful.To gain the rights of an employee an agency worker must have worked for the company for 12 weeks. As you joined them on 19.4.21 you have yet to gain those rights.In law if you are sick due to pregnancy this does not stop your 12 weeks counting, but if they cancelled your contract and will start it up again when you are ready to come back they will argue that your 12 weeks starts again.It is possible to argue that they are simply cancelling your contract when you get sick so that they don't have to pay you but because you have yet to reach the 12 weeks you don't have rights to sick leave or rights to challenge a dismissal.I suggest that you raise this with them as an issue but I don't envisage merits in taking this to a tribunal. You should also consider that if they are treating you like this now then perhaps you might want to seek alternative employment.I am happy to answer follow ups.Kind regards
Customer: replied 13 days ago.
Thank you for your answer.
I know I can’t challenge them for unfair dismissal because I am agency worker but if I am pregnant I am protected from day 1 I told them I am pregnant so basically they discriminate me as a pregnant woman and pregnancy related sickness.
Look it is not about money - I am just really sick and can’t work and I needed these weeks to be counted in my maternity allowance eligibility from government to at least have some maternity.
So really there is no option for me to defend myself for discrimination?Thank you again,Jaroslava
I sympathise with your position. It is possible to bring a claim for discrimation. I was merely stating that your best option is to sort this outside of court which would add stress and delay.You must raise the discrimination with the employer and the agency. If you need someone to have your back ACAS are brilliant and they will definitely help.You can find them at the link below. agree that what they are doing is simply avoiding a statutory duty by using a loophole and that it is discrimination.Kind regards
Customer: replied 13 days ago.
Thank you for great advice.
Could You please just tell me how can I raise that case with employer? It is enough by email or it needs to have some specific parts?
And also before I do it could you please tell me my rights as a pregnant women agency worker? Is it correct that I am protected from day 1 or it is not?
Thank you again for your time !
You can start with an email. Make sure to give them a deadline to reply.Your worker rights don't start until 12 weeks but you are protected against discrimination even before you are hired. This is why you can still bring a claim via ACAS.I do hope that has helped. Please do reach out to ACAS. Highly recommended.Kind regards
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