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The Employment Rights (Northern Ireland) Order 1996

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This is the original version (as it was originally made).

Pregnancy and childbirth

131.—(1) An employee who is dismissed shall be regarded for the purposes of this Part as unfairly dismissed if—

(a)the reason (or, if more than one, the principal reason) for the dismissal is that she is pregnant or any other reason connected with her pregnancy,

(b)her maternity leave period is ended by the dismissal and the reason (or, if more than one, the principal reason) for the dismissal is that she has given birth to a child or any other reason connected with her having given birth to a child,

(c)her contract of employment is terminated after the end of her maternity leave period and the reason (or, if more than one, the principal reason) for the dismissal is that she took, or availed herself of the benefits of, maternity leave,

(d)the reason (or, if more than one, the principal reason) for the dismissal is a relevant requirement, or a relevant recommendation, as defined by Article 98(2), or

(e)her maternity leave period is ended by the dismissal, the reason (or, if more than one, the principal reason) for the dismissal is that she is redundant and Article 109 has not been complied with.

(2) For the purposes of paragraph (1)(c)—

(a)a woman takes maternity leave if she is absent from work during her maternity leave period, and

(b)a woman avails herself of the benefits of maternity leave if, during her maternity leave period, she avails herself of the benefit of any of the terms and conditions of her employment preserved by Article 103 during that period.

(3) An employee who is dismissed shall also be regarded for the purposes of this Part as unfairly dismissed if—

(a)before the end of her maternity leave period she gave to her employer a certificate from a registered medical practitioner stating that by reason of disease or bodily or mental disablement she would be incapable of work after the end of that period,

(b)her contract of employment was terminated within the period of four weeks beginning immediately after the end of her maternity leave period in circumstances in which she continued to be incapable of work and the certificate remained current, and

(c)the reason (or, if more than one, the principal reason) for the dismissal is that she has given birth to a child or any other reason connected with her having given birth to a child.

(4) Where—

(a)an employee has the right conferred by Article 111,

(b)it is not practicable by reason of redundancy for the employer to permit her to return in accordance with that right, and

(c)no offer is made of such alternative employment as is referred to in Article 113,

the dismissal of the employee which is treated as taking place by virtue of Article 128 is to be regarded for the purposes of this Part as unfair.

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