Pregnant and Dismissed for Misconduct – How to Challenge the decision
Written By
Team Nucleus

An employer can fairly dismiss a pregnant employee for gross misconduct like theft or violence. However, they must show reasonable evidence of guilt and prove dismissal is a reasonable sanction for the misconduct in question. Most importantly, the procedure must be fair.

However, if you can show your pregnancy significantly influenced the decision to dismiss you, you can bring a claim in the employment tribunal for pregnancy discrimination and, possibly, automatically unfair dismissal.

You need to prove facts from which the tribunal could decide, in the absence of an explanation from your employer, that you were dismissed because of your pregnancy.

Employers rarely admit prejudiced thinking. You need to have a dossier of facts which, taken together, are sufficient to show that your pregnancy contributed to your dismissal.

Such facts could include:
  1. Discriminatory comments about you or other pregnant employees.
  2. Suspicious timing. Was the dismissal shortly after you announced you were pregnant?
  3. Did your employer follow their normal disciplinary procedure? Do they normally carry out investigations, but didn’t in your case?
  4. Was the dismissal unreasonable in the circumstances? Was there clearly insufficient evidence of your alleged misconduct? Was the misconduct so minor that dismissal was clearly an unreasonable sanction?
  5. Were there any non-pregnant employees who committed the same misconduct but weren't dismissed?
  6. Evidence of your employer’s treatment of other pregnant employees. How many pregnant employees do they employ? Have they dismissed other pregnant employees?
  7. Failure of your employer to give their managers equal opportunities training.

Nucleus specialises in helping with discrimination cases. If you submitted a claim already, or have been dismissed in the last 3 months, get in touch with us.

Disclaimer: This blog is for general information only.
Nothing on this blog constitutes formal legal advice or gives rise to a solicitor-client relationship.
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