# Gray Hooper Holt LLP Solicitors

Pregnancy & Discrimination

On 6 December 2018, after three weeks with the firm, an employee informed the business she was pregnant. She became ostracised by the management and over the next few days, she was questioned as to whether she knew she was pregnant when she took the job.

On the morning of 13 December, the employee submitted a resignation letter.

The Employment Tribunal found that “the effect of the events which took place at work over the very short period of three days, 11-13 December 2018, was to harass the employee by violating her dignity and creating a hostile, humiliating and offensive environment for her. That harassment related to her protected characteristic of sex because, as is axiomatic, only women can be pregnant.”  

It should be noted that prospective employees are not obliged to inform an employer that they are pregnant during a job interview. Discrimination against a pregnant employee can take the form of negative comments about the potential effect the pregnancy will have on the employer’s business. Prospective employers should avoid asking questions which are irrelevant to a person’s skills and qualifications for the job

July 2019