From the Lexology newsletter.
Can a pregnant employee be fairly dismissed if their employer does not know they are pregnant?
The story starts:
Ms Thompson had been employed just over a month, and was still in her probationary period, when she found out she was pregnant. She experienced pains and was admitted to hospital but did not tell her employer the reason she was admitted to hospital. RECCL therefore thought she should have arranged the hospital appointment in her own time. She also had an altercation with a customer and when picked up on this by RECCL she shot off to the toilet in tears and was sent home.
On 3 August 2016 RECCL decided to dismiss her because of her emotional volatility, performance and because she did not fit in with their work ethic. On 4 August 2016 Ms Thompson told RECCL that she was pregnant. When she returned to work on 5 August 2016 she was given a dismissal letter dated 3 August 2016.
The full story HERE is well worth a read.
Most dental businesses with which I work are terrified of taking any disciplinary procedures with pregnant staff. Yet as long as the proper and appropriate measures are taken and your systems and processes are correct there is no real need to be so. I have emphasised that section in the last sentence because I find, in spite of CQC etc practices that do not fully understand the law, the systems and the processes and therefore run scared of taking appropriate action. Pregnancy regulations are often the tip of the iceberg and in spite of having reams of paperwork, or online documents, from compliance suppliers they haven’t taken the time to read and assimilate the regulations and therefore often make decisions in haste and that is when things go wrong.