Maternity leave leads to redundancy

April 1993
Accountancy;Apr93, Vol. 111 Issue 1196, p103
Trade Publication
The article reports on a case wherein the British Employment Appeal Tribunal (EAT) has been asked to consider a situation in which a company discovered that it had an over-capacity of staff and dismissed an employee while she was on maternity leave. In the Intelligent Applications Ltd. versus Wilson case, Wilson was employed by Intelligent Applications, a small computer hardware company, as a secretary with some additional administrative duties. In November 1990, Wilson told her employer that she was pregnant and would be taking maternity leave. In a short time before Wilson was due to return to work, the company notified her that she was being dismissed on the ground of redundancy following over-capacity. Section 60 of the Employment Protection Act 1978 provides that the dismissal of an employee is automatically unfair where the reason or principal reasons for her dismissal is that she is pregnant or is any other reasons connected with her pregnancy. The Industrial Tribunal agreed with Wilson--she had been dismissed for a reason connected with her pregnancy. The employer appealed to the EAT, which dismissed the appeal and upheld Wilson's contention that she had been unfairly dismissed.


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