Pregnancy and maternity discrimination
Pregnancy and maternity discrimination

The following Employment practice note provides comprehensive and up to date legal information covering:

  • Pregnancy and maternity discrimination
  • A separate provision
  • Discrimination because of pregnancy or pregnancy-related illness
  • Discrimination because of maternity leave
  • No overlap with direct discrimination protection
  • No comparator required
  • Treating someone 'unfavourably'
  • Potential problems with the pregnancy and maternity discrimination provision
  • No associative discrimination or discrimination on the basis of perception
  • Meaning of 'because of'
  • More...

IP COMPLETION DAY: 11pm (GMT) on 31 December 2020 marks the end of the Brexit transition/implementation period entered into following the UK’s withdrawal from the EU. At this point in time (referred to in UK law as ‘IP completion day’), key transitional arrangements come to an end and significant changes begin to take effect across the UK’s legal regime. This document contains guidance on subjects impacted by these changes. Before continuing your research, see Practice Note: Brexit and IP completion day—implications for employment lawyers.

This Practice Note sets out the law regarding discrimination because of pregnancy, pregnancy-related illness or maternity under the Equality Act 2010 (EqA 2010).

A separate provision

EqA 2010 has separate provisions with regard to discrimination against a woman which occurs because of her pregnancy or in connection with her maternity leave.

Discrimination because of pregnancy or pregnancy-related illness

The provision regarding pregnancy and maternity discrimination defines a period called the 'protected period'. That period:

  1. begins when the relevant woman's pregnancy begins, and

  2. ends:

    1. at the end of the additional maternity leave period, or when she returns to work after the pregnancy (if that is earlier), in cases where the woman has the right to ordinary and additional maternity leave (see Practice Note: Maternity leave—Entitlement), or

    2. two weeks after the end of the pregnancy, if she does not have the right to ordinary and additional maternity

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