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New ACAS guidance on making women on maternity leave redundant

23 August 2012 #Employment


ACAS, in association with the Equality and Human Rights Commission, has recently published a Good Practice Guide on Managing Redundancy for Pregnant Employees or those on Maternity Leave.

This short handbook provides a useful checklist to ensure that employers manage the process fairly. It describes the law on this area, and usefully applies it directly to scenario’s that may arise in the workplace. Interestingly, it also discusses various “myths” about managing pregnancy and maternity at work. For instance it is not true that pregnant women and women on maternity leave cannot be made redundant. Nor is it illegal for an employer to contact an employee on maternity leave about any work-related issues.

ACAS has also updated its guidance on Handling Redundancy, which includes a new section on how to break the news to affected employees.

This is a lengthier handbook which documents the entire redundancy process. It breaks down the elements of redundancy into general redundancy, consultation, selection criteria, breaking the news to employees and giving employees assistance in finding other work. This handbook also provides a checklist for redundancy agreements. ACAS highlights that all organisations are unique and redundancy agreements must be tailored to meet the individual organisational circumstances. The handbook also provides details of what employers should consider when making redundancy payments and outlines the relevant law.

Both documents are a useful source of information for employers who may be about to start the redundancy process, and may specifically be looking to make pregnant women or those on maternity leave redundant.

For more information on dealing with redundancy please see Employmentbuddy`s factsheet.

Clarkslegal, specialist Employment lawyers in London, Reading and throughout the Thames Valley.
For further information about this or any other Employment matter please contact Clarkslegal's employment team by email at employmentunit@clarkslegal.com by telephone 020 7539 8000 (London office), 0118 958 5321 (Reading office) or by completing the form on this page.

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