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Ben Jones
Ben Jones, UK Lawyer
Category: UK Law
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can my employer force me to reapply for my own job whilst i

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can my employer force me to reapply for my own job whilst i am pregnant



Can you briefly explain your situation please - why are you being asked to do that?

Customer: replied 7 years ago.


The area I work in is merging with another and therefore due to restructuring the management staffing there will only need to be one of my post whilst currently there are two of us in post. Both of us currently have identical Job Descriptions and I understand that shortly I shall have to apply to keep this job and will have to compete against the other individual. i am not in danger of redundancy as I have been advised that I would be put onto redeployment if I were unsuccessful. In competition with the other candidate, we both applied for the post they have now and I missed out although was obviously succesful with this post I have now which is of equal standing. I understand that it is not possible to force someone on maternity leave into a redeployment sitation however i am wondering if as a pregnant employee i can be forced either into reapplying for my job or into redeployment.


As a pregnant employee you have enhanced protection from the time you inform your employer of your pregnancy until the end of your maternity period. These rights include for example, if a redundancy situation arises during maternity leave, the right to any suitable vacancy in priority to any other affected employee. So if your position was being made redundant and there was suitable alternative vacancy on offer then you should have been given priority over it and should not have been required to compete for it. So strictly speaking your employer is in breach of their duties. This is essentially a potential claim for sex discrimination but you have to consider whether you want to pursue it - if you do then you have 3 months from the time of the discriminatory event to make your claim.
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Customer: replied 7 years ago.

Can i ask if the new equality legislation has any impact - either on the response you have made already or will do to my situation?



Can't comment on that yet I'm afraid - that is yet to come into force and it was only ratified a couple of days ago so we have not been provided with training on it yet.
Customer: replied 7 years ago.


Just re-read your answer, you state that "if a redundancy situation arises during maternity leave... (I have rights) ... to any suitable vacancy in priority to any other affected employee"

You also state that I have "enhanced protection from the time you inform your employer" of the pregnancy

Can you be any clearer on my redundancy rights prior to starting maternity leave or is this area of the law more vague?

Sorry for any confusion. When I mentioned maternity leave that included the whole protection period - from the time you inform your employer you are pregnant to the time you come back from maternity. That is regarded as one continuous process. So you have enhanced protection during that whole period.

Customer: replied 7 years ago.
That's really helpful many thanks