Unlawful Termination: Fired While on Maternity Leave

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Unlawful Termination: Fired While on Maternity Leave

Fired While on Maternity Leave

Suppose you got fired while on maternity leave, it is distressing and raises concerns about the legality of the termination. As an expectant mother, it is crucial to understand your rights and protections in such situations. In this article, we will explore the legal framework surrounding termination during maternity leave in the United Kingdom and guide how to navigate this challenging situation.

Understanding Your Rights

The law in the UK provides specific protections to pregnant employees and those on maternity leave. However, it is important to be aware of the following key rights:

  1. Protection against Unfair Dismissal: It is unlawful for employers to dismiss an employee solely because they are pregnant or on maternity leave. This protection extends from the beginning of pregnancy until the end of maternity leave.
  2. Continuity of Employment: Your employment contract remains in force throughout your maternity leave. Any termination without a valid and fair reason would be considered unfair dismissal.
  3. Notice Period and Pay: If your employer intends to terminate your employment while on maternity leave, they must provide you with the appropriate notice period and pay as per your employment contract and statutory entitlements.

Seeking Clarification

If you get fired while on maternity leave, it is important to seek clarification from your employer regarding the reasons for the termination. Request a written explanation detailing the grounds for dismissal and any supporting evidence they may have. When seeking clarification, it will enable you to assess the validity of their decision and determine if it aligns with the legal requirements.

Consulting a Maternity Employment Law Solicitor

In cases of termination during maternity leave, we highly recommend you seek legal advice from an employment law solicitor specialising in maternity rights. They can evaluate your situation, review the circumstances of your dismissal, and guide you on the best course of action. An experienced solicitor will help you understand your legal rights, assess the merits of your case, and provide the necessary support and representation.

Possible Courses of Action

Based on the advice of your employment law solicitor, you may consider the following courses of action:

  1. Internal Resolution: If you believe there has been a misunderstanding or a breach of your rights, you can resolve the matter through internal grievance procedures within your organisation. This action may involve raising a formal complaint with your employer or engaging in mediation to resolve.
  2. Employment Tribunal Claim: If internal resolution attempts are unsuccessful or the termination is unfair, you may choose to file a claim with an employment tribunal. An employment law solicitor can guide you through this process, ensuring your rights are protected and presenting your case effectively.

Documenting Evidence

Throughout the process, it is crucial to maintain detailed records of all relevant correspondence, conversations, and events related to your termination, including keeping copies of any written communication, notes from meetings, and records of witnesses who may support your case. Such evidence will be valuable in establishing the circumstances of your dismissal and supporting your claim, if necessary.


By understanding your rights, seeking legal advice, and gathering relevant evidence, you can take appropriate action to protect your interests if you get fired while on maternity leave. An employment law solicitor specialising in maternity rights will be a valuable ally in navigating the complexities of the legal system and ensuring that justice gets served. Remember, acting promptly to safeguard your rights and seek a fair resolution to this challenging situation is crucial.

Please note that the information provided in this article is for general guidance purposes only and should not be considered legal advice. We recommend consulting with an employment law solicitor for personalised advice tailored to your specific circumstances.


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