Pregnancy Discrimination Solicitors | Paul Doran Law

Belfast Office
12 Carnmoney Road
Glengormley
County Antrim BT36 6HN

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West One
114 Wellington Street
Leeds
West Yorkshire
LS1 1BA

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124 City Road
London EC1V 2NX

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Gear House
Saltmeadows Road
Gateshead
Tyne and Wear NE8 3AH

Telephone: 0808 1687 288
Email: enquiries@pauldoranlaw.com

Pregnancy and Maternity Discrimination

 Pregnancy Discrimination

Pregnancy Discrimination

Have you been treated unfairly at work because you’re pregnant, have a pregnancy-related illness, gave birth recently, are breastfeeding, or you’re on maternity leave? You may be entitled to claim for Pregnancy Discrimination.

For example:

If yes, you may have experienced pregnancy discrimination or sex discrimination – this means you could be entitled to make a claim and win compensation.

“I would recommend Paul’s legal services. I entrusted him with something that was very important to me and he did not let me down.” Deborah McM

What’s the law regarding pregnancy discrimination?

Pregnancy and maternity are ‘protected characteristics’ under the Equality Act 2010 (or the Sex Discrimination (NI) Order 1976 in Northern Ireland).

You’re covered if you are an employee, a worker or a contractor (but not if you are self-employed). It doesn’t matter how long you’ve worked for your employer or how many hours you work. The law also covers job applicants – for example, you should not be refused a job just because you told the interviewer you were pregnant.

Protection covers the pregnancy itself and any pregnancy-related illness.

It starts from the beginning of your pregnancy until the end of ordinary maternity leave:

However, a survey of over 3,000 mothers published in 2016 by the Department for Business Innovation and Skills and the Equality and Human Rights Commission, found the following results:

“The communication was good and I appreciated the No Win No Fee service.” Susan H

What should your employer do?

If you’re pregnant or on maternity leave, your employer should treat you the same as anyone else.

This means they must not demote you or dismiss you because you’re pregnant or on maternity leave, they must not deny you training or promotion opportunities, and they must not take any pregnancy-related absence into account when making decisions about your employment.

They should ensure their HR policies prevent pregnancy discrimination in:

In addition, your employer should carry out a specific risk assessment to avoid any risk to the health and safety of expectant or new mothers. This means they might alter your working conditions or hours, or provide you with suitable alternative work. If they can’t provide you with suitable alternative work, you could be suspended on full pay.

“Thank you for all your help, patience and understanding. It is not an easy thing to go through, but your help and kind attitude definitely made it easier.”
Alison W

It’s illegal for your employer to ask you to stop breastfeeding, deny you a promotion just because you’re pregnant, or refuse you flexible working when you ask (unless the refusal is justifiable for business reasons).

Also, they should not permit a working environment that is distressing, humiliating or offensive. If they do, you could make a claim for harassment.

It is possible for you to be dismissed or made redundant from your job while pregnant or on maternity leave, but it must not be for pregnancy or maternity reasons.

What can you do if you suffer pregnancy discrimination?

If you’ve suffered pregnancy or maternity discrimination, there are several things you can do.

To start with, you might try to deal with the matter internally by attempting to negotiate an informal resolution or submitting a grievance.

If matters have gone beyond that stage, you could start a claim for discrimination or unfair dismissal. There is no limit to the amount of compensation the Tribunal can award – it can cover your financial loss and include an amount to cover injury to your feelings.

In some circumstances, you may feel the treatment is so bad that you have no option but to resign. After that, you may be able to make a claim for constructive dismissal (although those cases can be harder to win).

“I feel Paul really cares about his clients and works to get the best outcome and justice for them.”
Elaine S

Many employers prefer to settle out of court. If so, we can help you negotiate a settlement agreement with them (known as a compromise agreement in Northern Ireland). Either way, you’ll need independent legal advice – that’s where our expert employment lawyers can help.

How we help if you suffer pregnancy discrimination

At our initial consultation (which is free of charge), we’ll tell you all the options and provide you with clear and practical guidance. Depending on the circumstances, we’ll help you decide whether to take the informal route or if it’s time to move matters to the next level by lodging a formal grievance or making a claim.

If you decide to go down the formal route, we can send a fixed-fee letter to your employer on your behalf, or help you to draft a letter of your own.

If you choose to submit a claim, we will manage your case all the way to the hearing. We have over 25 years’ experience in employment law and discrimination cases and have helped many other people in similar circumstances to you.

You have a choice of options when it comes to funding a case (see here). You  can even take out an insurance policy to protect you against the risk of having to pay tribunal fees if you lose your case.

Well-informed staff put my mind at ease over queries I had on how to handle the situation, so I did not to create scenarios in my mind and unnecessary worry about next steps. I was kept informed and up to date with everything.”
Julia C

Note that there’s a strict time limit for claims which is three months less one day, so it’s important to contact us as soon as possible.

Related reading: Pregnancy discrimination

Make an enquiry now

To make a free enquiry about pregnancy or maternity discrimination, please call us on 0808 168 7288, or complete an Online Enquiry.

We’ll also discuss the best methods of funding your case and seek to reach a solution that best suits your needs. This can involve a “no-win, no-fee” agreement if appropriate.

Call us on
028 25446949
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Very professional all the way through the process. Sharon C

I found all the staff to be knowledgeable and highly professional. Stephanie W

Well informed and easy to contact. I wouldn’t have won my case without him. Audrey S

Very good. Always stayed within the timescales given. Sound advice. Would recommend. Ken S

Efficient. Helpful. Take the clients points into consideration. Angela R

Paul Doran Law has been extremely helpful and supportive in very difficult circumstances. David R

Although a lengthy case, I have been constantly updated throughout. Jenny R

Professional and efficient service with helpful and friendly staff. Susan R

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Paul was very helpful and friendly. Adrian M

Cormac is a very reassuring person. He was very supportive when I got the jitters. Iain M

Kept going when it did not good and achieved a successful outcome. Shirley M

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Cormac explained my options and talked me through each step and advised me of the best possible outcome. Gerard McL

They were quick to get things sorted. Emma McA

Very satisfied with the outcome to my case. Evelyn H

Solicitor very knowledgeable and took my case and concerns seriously in a very professional manner. Deborah H

Friendly, efficient and very professional. Charlotte G

I liked the personal touch. I received phone calls with updates instead of relying on letters all of the time. Sharon C

Very friendly and competent service. Peter G

Very professional. Kept me up to date at all times throughout the process. Blanche G

Straightforward service which is exactly what I needed. Paula F

Good end result. Paul did a lot of work. Lyn E

Very professional and always willing to help and offer advice when needed. Lytreena D

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Outstanding. Friendly service from start to finish. Matthew C

I feel the company worked very hard to get the result. Christine C

From day one there was a plan of action. I feel I was listened to and heard after which to prove the case got easy. Kanta C

I would highly recommend. Karen B

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Very professional, friendly and efficient. Kept me informed throughout the process. Paula F

Very professional. I always felt valued as a client Christine C

Paul was extremely professional and efficient Lesley A

Outstanding – friendly service from start to finish Matthew C

Paul Doran was very helpful during my communications, friendly & professional. Adrian M

I found right from the beginning Paul was very friendly and easy to ask questions at any time. Rita C

Paul is prompt, friendly and approachable. I liked how he was committed to my case and kept me informed. Judith P

I appreciate the thorough and expedient manner to which the task was completed. Barbara H

I feel Paul really cares about his clients and works to get the best outcome and justice for them.  Elaine S

My claim has been handled professionaly and without delays.  I am totally satisfied. Kelly L

Paul’s legal service is professional and thorough. Sharon H

I entrusted him with something that was very important to me and he did not let me down. Deborah McM

I was in contact with Paul on many occasions and all queries were dealt with personally and politely. Judith C

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The service provided has been delivered beyond expectation.

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If Paul had not taken on my case, I would not have received monies owed to me. E Shefford

I would recommend Paul’s legal service as it is professional and thorough. S Hall

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Why Choose Us?

  • We only work for employees
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