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Pregnant Women can be Sacked in Rounds of Redundancies, EU's top court rules

23 February 2018 

Pregnant women can be sacked by their employers as part of collective redundancies, the
EU's top court has ruled

In a case brought against state-owned Spanish lender Bankia, Jessica Porras
Guisado challenged the company's decision to make her redundant during the
course of her pregnancy

EU laws prevent employees losing their jobs from the start of their pregnancy
until the end of their maternity leave except in exceptional cases which are
not connected with their condition

But the European Court of Justice ruled this is not the case when employers are
making collective redundancies

However, the ruling included the caveat that employers must explain the reason for the redundanciesto the employee affected, as well as the criteria used to decide which
employees would have to leave

Last year, a damning report by watchdog the Equality and Human Rights Commission
found that British businesses are losing hundreds of millions of pounds a year
due to women being forced out of their jobs after having a baby

It said the cost of redundancy payouts, lost productivity and hiring and training
new staff amounted to about £280 million a year

The watchdog added that more than one in 10 women are pushed out of their jobs
after maternity leave - the equivalent of 54,000 women every year.

Rebecca Hilsenrath, chief executive of the EHRC, said: "There is not just a moral
and legal case for retaining women who are coming back to work, but a very
strong financial case as well."

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