Can an employer treat maternity-related absences in the same way as standard sickness absences?

Posted in : First Tuesday Q&A NI on 6 November 2018
Chris Fullerton
Arthur Cox NI
Issues covered:

Under the Sex Discrimination (NI) Order 1976, pregnant employees have specific legal rights which regulate their relationship with their employers.

It is unlawful pregnancy discrimination to treat an employee less favourably:

  • On the grounds that she is pregnant;
  • For a reason relating to her pregnancy; or
  • Because of pregnancy-related illness.

The Northern Ireland Equality Commission has published useful guidance for employers when dealing with pregnancy and maternity-related absences. Employers must ensure that when they are dealing with pregnancy-related absences that their actions do not cause unlawful discrimination. Practically, employers should ensure that their absence

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Back to Q&A's This article is correct at 06/11/2018

The information in this article is provided as part of Legal-Island's Employment Law Hub. We regret we are not able to respond to requests for specific legal or HR queries and recommend that professional advice is obtained before relying on information supplied anywhere within this article.

Chris Fullerton
Arthur Cox NI

The main content of this article was provided by Chris Fullerton. Contact telephone number is 028 9023 0007 or email

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