Can you get FIRED from Your Job while Pregnant? (Answered)

Pregnancy discrimination law helps to protects woman like you who are pregnant from getting terminated because of your pregnancy.

However, you are not totally immune to getting fired from your job during your pregnancy.

“Can you get fired while pregnant?”

Yes, your employer is allowed to fire you while you are pregnant.

And here are few situation you must be aware, you can still be legally layoff from your employment.

But if you believe you are lay off due to your pregnancy, learning how to deal with pregnancy discrimination might be something you’ll need.

Termination by employer

Generally, pregnant employees cannot be terminated by the employer. But there a few exception which can vary for different countries.

According to the Employment Rights Act 1996. There are five potentially fair reasons for dismissal:

  1. Dismissal due to employee’s conduct, such as fraud, theft, bullying etc. Termination can be due to a single serious incident that warrants dismissal for the first offence, or persistent minor offence.
  2. Dismissal due to employee’s capability or performance on the role. This can be consistent absence of work without reasons, or lack in performance.
  3. Dismissal due to redundancy. Liquidation of the company and the closure of the business.
  4. Dismissal due to statutory restriction. This is in the event where continue employment of the employee will lead to the breaking of the law, such as overdue of work permit, losing of driver license, losing of rights to work in the country.
  5. Dismissal due to Some other Substantial Reasons (SOSR). These are such as; conflict of interest, personality clashes, serving jail term, or even breakdown of mutual trust.

In other words…

“If you are worried about getting fired for being sick while pregnant.”

In most countries, unless you are not covered by the Pregnancy Discrimination Act (PDA), you are protected.

As long as the reason of dismissal is due to you being pregnant.

Termination due to end of employment contract

With a fixed employment contract, employees can be terminated at the end of the contract terms. Here are a few scenarios.

Employment contract ends before maternity leave

When contract ends before you are on is on maternity leave, there is no obligation for the employer to re-employ you before your maternity leave starts.

This may come as a shock to some, but there is no obligation for your employer to ensure your employment before you start your maternity leave.

But…

If the reason for the non-renewal of the fixed-term contract is related to the employee’s pregnancy, or avoidance to give maternity benefits.

The dismissal will automatically become unfair and considered wrongful.

Employment Contract ends during maternity leave

When the employee’s fix-term contract ends when you are on maternity leave, there is no obligation for the employer to re-employ you at the end of the maternity leave.

Renewal of the employment contract may or may not be offered to the employee during her maternity leave. 

But if the reason for the non-renewal is related to the employee’s pregnancy.

The dismissal will automatically become unfair and considered wrongful.

Ps. In most cases, maternity benefits and pay will end at the same day as the end of the employment contract.

Employment Contract ends after maternity leave

When the employee’s fix-term contract ends after your maternity leave. The employee may or may not offer you a renewal of your fixed-term employment contract.

But if the reason for the non-renewal is related to the employee’s pregnancy.

The dismissal will automatically become unfair and considered wrongful.

So what can you do if you find your dismissal wrongful?

You may approach respective organizations for help:

  • United States: Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC)  for assistance.
  • United Kingdom: Advisory, Conciliation and Arbitration Service (ACAS)
  • Canada: Canadian Human Rights Commission (CHRC)
  • Singapore: Association of Woman for Action and Research (aware)

Termination by employee

Employee can terminate their employee agreement voluntarily. Unless they are still within the agreed employment bonds/training bond period or similar. But if the employee still wish to resign during their bond period, it is still possible.

Nonetheless, under normal circumstances, employees who are pregnant can terminate their employment agreement if it is performed voluntarily.

But if the pregnant employee have no intention to terminate her employment and was deemed to be forced termination by court. The employment can be reinstated.

Here are example of possible forced terminations that can raise disputes:

  • Employee’s application for termination was signed under pressure by the employer.
  • Employee have no intention of terminating the agreement but was not given the opportunity to recontract due to her pregnancy.
  • Employee unable to revoke her application of termination due to being hospitalized and undergoing medical treatment.

“Misconceptions of Pregnant Workers’ Rights?”

Check out this video below!

Disclaimer: We do not provide any family, health, financial, or law related advice. The publisher and the author make no guarantees of completeness, accuracy, usefulness, or timeliness. You accept any action you take upon the information on this site is strictly at your own risk. All information is based on personal opinion and experience and is for entertainment purposes only.

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