Probation period and pregnancy

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MariaMalac

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Aug 12, 2019
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How would you manage a situation with an employee who started 1st June 2019, 6 months probation period and now she found out she is pregnant. She is a very good employee, no problems since she’s started. She got pregnant after she started.
 

fisicx

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Business Listing
Sep 12, 2006
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www.aerin.co.uk
I’d say thanks very much but goodbye.

Probably not the nicest thing to do but she will finish probation, you get a few months work then she will be off on maternity leave and may never return.
 
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NicoJ

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Mar 27, 2017
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One of the employment specialists should post on here in due course, but from my limited knowledge:
1) I would not sack her as, like you said I'm pretty sure that's discrimination (why would you want to anyway if you think she's a good worker?)
2) She will be entitled to maternity leave and will accrue her rights during that time eg holiday pay
3) She will not be entitled to maternity pay due to her length of service being too short so she will need to apply for maternity benefit from the government.
 
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fisicx

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She is on probation so there is no discrimination. You just have to tell them their services are no longer required.
 
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MariaMalac

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Aug 12, 2019
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After employee announces pregnancy officially and next day you sack her that is unfair dismissal.

We don't want to fire her, she will even be entitled to the SMP because she will be there at least 26 weeks I think. Just gathering info for manager (who is sometimes difficult)
 
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NicoJ

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Mar 27, 2017
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From the government website you need the following to qualify for maternity pay:

have worked for your employer continuously for at least 26 weeks continuing into the ‘qualifying week’ - the 15th week before the expected week of childbirth

@fisicx - sacking someone because they are pregnant is automatic unfair dismissal so the company would open itself up to an employment tribunal.
 
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STDFR33

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Aug 7, 2016
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I’d say thanks very much but goodbye.

Probably not the nicest thing to do but she will finish probation, you get a few months work then she will be off on maternity leave and may never return.

But that would be unlawful and make you a hickdead.
 
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Mr D

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Feb 12, 2017
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OK so besides finding a reason to legally sack someone, what about as the OP says when someone is a good worker and want to keep them?

Anything else the OP needs to know regarding keeping them, besides the fact that babies don't always stick to schedules regarding time off before arriving?
 
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Newchodge

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Nov 8, 2012
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You should have a risk assessment for the job she does. You need to re-visit that to make sure there are no health and safety risks for a pregnant woman.

You must allow her time off for ante-natal appointments.

Generally just continue to treat her as a valued member of staff.
 
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I've had exactly this one, apart from mine was a fruit loop and we did sack her.

She took us to tribunal claiming 26k for "damage to feelings" after being employed for three months and us saying we wouldn't take her on after the 3 months probation.

Case took a year and a half to settle.

If she is a good employee I wouldn't hesitate to keep the position open as long as necessary and do whatever I could to help her and her family enjoy the new arrival.
 
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Why do companies do probation periods.... they are stupid. You already have a legal probation period of 2 years within which you can fire someone without cause. Telling them they are on three months probation just tells them they need to be on their best behaviour for three months..... meaning you may not see the real them for several months.
 
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Mr D

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Why do companies do probation periods.... they are stupid. You already have a legal probation period of 2 years within which you can fire someone without cause. Telling them they are on three months probation just tells them they need to be on their best behaviour for three months..... meaning you may not see the real them for several months.

Gives employee an idea as to how long they have in order to produce to the right level consistently. It's artificial but then again plenty of things in the world of employees are.

I have had probation extended - the person setting probation had no clue of timescales for results. Also had no clue about targets but I just usually ignored what she came up with.
 
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Newchodge

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Nov 8, 2012
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'She got pregnant after she started'.....

I'm a little out of touch with this sort of thing but don't most women give it a couple of months before announcing a pregnancy to their nearest and dearest, let alone their new employers?
It doesn't matter. The fact that matters is that she is pregnant. whether she was pregnant when she started or not is irrelevant. She cannot be subjected to any kind of detriment as a result of her pregnancy
 
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Mr D

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Feb 12, 2017
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'She got pregnant after she started'.....

I'm a little out of touch with this sort of thing but don't most women give it a couple of months before announcing a pregnancy to their nearest and dearest, let alone their new employers?

It takes 2 months for a working woman to notice and a couple of weeks for a schoolgirl to notice?
Any idea why the difference in timescales?
 
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Newchodge

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Nov 8, 2012
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Newcastle
She is on probation so there is no discrimination. You just have to tell them their services are no longer required.
It doesn't work like that. She is pregnant, she is sacked after announcing she is pregnant. Unless the employer has good, documented reasons for the dismissal they would be likely to lose an ET. Discrimination claims are not subject to the 2 year employment before the right to take a claim.
 
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