The new guidance, issued in conjunction with the Equality and Human Rights Commission, is a ‘good practice guide’ that is intended to dispel some of the myths that exist about making pregnant employees (or those absent on maternity leave) redundant.
This can be a tricky area for employers to negotiate their way through. The guide makes it clear that provided a fair procedure is followed, with appropriate criteria for selection and proper consultation carried out (adapted if necessary to take account of an employee’s absence), it is possible to carry out a fair redundancy process for those who are pregnant or on maternity leave.
The guidance highlights some of the necessary considerations to take into account in relation to pregnant employees and those on maternity leave, including the requirement to offer such employees any suitable alternative employment that may be available, in preference to other employees.
A copy of the new guidance is available here