Maternity discrimination at work claims

We have helped over 3,000 employees in England and Wales with their employment law claims and we can help you too.

As part of the Co-op Group our values of openness, honesty, social responsibility and caring for others are core to the service we provide.

What are my maternity rights at work?

You are entitled to take reasonable time off work to attend antenatal classes and other such appointments during your pregnancy.

Once your pregnancy has been confirmed, you will be issued with a MAT B1 certificate by your midwife or doctor, which you give to your employer. Once they have this, you can then take time off work for antenatal care from 20 weeks of your pregnancy.

By law, your employer must take reasonable action to ensure that you are protected from any workplace risks that may pose a threat to your pregnancy. This could be anything from providing somewhere to rest if you are tired, to being more flexible with your working hours.

You must tell your employer about your pregnancy by the 15th week before your childbirth, so that they can make adequate provision for your pregnancy.

What is maternity discrimination?

Maternity discrimination can happen in different ways. Sometimes, it is direct. For example, being denied a promotion, because you’re pregnant and would go on maternity leave, or being made redundant while on maternity leave.

Other times maternity discrimination is indirect. For example, if your employer is insisting that you use the same work station as everyone else, even though your work furniture gives you backache.

Usually, the easiest way to find out if you have been discriminated against because of pregnancy is to ask yourself the question, ‘Would that unfair treatment had happened if I hadn't been pregnant?’

It is against the law for an employer to dismiss you or make you redundant because you are pregnant.

You are not under obligation to tell a prospective employer of your pregnancy during the recruitment process. However, if you are offered the job and the offer was withdrawn after telling them about the pregnancy, you may be able to claim compensation for maternity discrimination.

I have the same job title, but since coming back from maternity leave my responsibilities have been greatly reduced. What should I do?

Legally, you should be able to return to the same job and responsibilities you had before you went on maternity leave. If this is not the case, you may be able to make a claim.

About Co-op Legal Services

Co-op Legal Services has over 600 staff working in different businesses with offices in Manchester, Bristol, Stratford-upon-Avon, Sheffield and London.

As part of the Co-op Group, our values of openness, honesty, social responsibility and caring for others are core to the service we provide.