There are four important questions which should always be asked by employers considering redundancies which involve someone who is pregnant or on maternity leave:
1) Is the redundancy genuine?
It's crucial that redundancies are being made for a genuine reason (eg the role is no longer viable due to changes in business or automation).
2) How do I consult employees on maternity leave?
Employers must consult with any employees who are on maternity leave or off work due to pregnancy-related sickness, about the reasons for the proposed redundancies and any alternatives.
3) How do I decide on the right selection criteria?
Any selection criteria used to determine who is made redundant should be transparent, objective, measurable and non-discriminatory.
If absence from work is used as a criterion, it should not take into account any absence due to pregnancy or maternity leave (otherwise this will constitute discrimination).
4) Is there a suitable alternative?
If there are alternative jobs which are available for any employees selected for redundancy, those on maternity leave must be offered these vacancies first (see below for further information).