Acas (the government’s conciliation service) and the Equality and Human Rights Commission (EHRC) have put together a guide about managing redundancy for pregnant employees.

Mainly aimed at employers, the guide is equally useful to trade union reps and employees as it contains examples of good practice, a checklist for managing the process fairly as well as a section on "myth busting" to explain to employers their obligations. It sets out four important questions that trade union reps should ensure the employer asks when considering which posts to make redundant:

  • Is the redundancy genuine?
  • How should they consult employees on maternity leave?
  • How should they decide the right selection criteria?
  • Is there a suitable alternative?

The guide explains the purpose of the law - to protect the health of mothers and their babies as well as to minimise any disadvantages they may face at work - and outlines the protection it provides to women.

It also dismisses a number of myths about the rights of pregnant women - for instance, that they cannot be made redundant; that employers cannot criticise the performance or conduct of a pregnant employee; that employers cannot contact an employee on maternity leave about work-related issues and that an employer with fewer than five staff is exempt from the legislation.

Click the link to download the guide, “Managing redundancy for pregnant employees or those on maternity leave