Redundancy Selection and Pregnant WorkersPosted in : Seamus Says - Employment Law Discussion on 2 March 2018
Q: At the time a redundancy selection was made, the employer was unaware the employee was pregnant - as pregnant workers have protections, is there an obligation to retract that redundancy or at least revise the process?
Seamus: No. There’s no obligation to retract the redundancy. It’s a genuine redundancy circumstance. The employer has put the notice of the redundancy out there. Again, you’re on notice at this point, no one has been dismissed at this notice. But you do, obviously, as the employer, have to treat the employee that’s pregnant or on maternity leave in a different way, particularly when it comes around to what are the available alternative works that are available within the organisation and their entitlement for priority in relation to those.
But just because someone is pregnant or on maternity leave, it doesn’t give them an automatic right not to be made redundant. In a genuine redundancy circumstance, it is applicable. What changes is just around the consultation aspect of that.
Scott: And the alternative employment.
Seamus: They might get the nod on alternative employment because you’re trying to protect this worker.
Scott: Yes. There’s a case on collective redundancies and pregnancy that was published today from the European Court of Justice, so you can have a look at that again, the protections for pregnant employees are very limited when it comes to collective redundancy situations as well (Guisado v Bankia S.A., Fondo de Garantía Salarial and Others  - CJEU).
More on Redundancy
- Dempster v The Gill Corporation Europe Ltd 
- If an employee requests voluntary redundancy is their employer still bound by dismissal procedures?
- Maxwell & Others v Tooley’s Bar Ltd 
- Redundancy Consultation and Notification - What is the Law?
- Why might an employer face criminal prosecution if a collective redundancy process is not followed correctly?
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