Q1. "What rights and remedies are available to Jemia?"

From the given case study, Jemima’s employer, EasyKlean, is potentially veering into discriminatory territory based on Jemima’s pregnancy status.  In such a scenario, Jemima has several rights and remedies that protect her from discrimination, derived from various UK employment laws, i.e., Equality Act 2010, Maternity and Paternity Leave Regulations 1999, and the Health and Safety at Work. Act 1974.

  1. Jemima is protected from any discrimination based on pregnancy or maternity under the Equality Act 2010.  The comment made by the EasyKlean manager could be viewed as discriminatory and present a risk to the employer (EA, 2010).
  2. Jemima has the right to request to take off work for ante-natal care, and her employer cannot refuse this based on tenure (ERA, 1996).
  3. Jemima will be entitled to take maternity leave.  However, as Jemima’s tenure is four weeks, she will not be eligible for statutory maternity pay (SMP), but she can apply for maternity allowance, specific criteria permitting (MPLR, 1999).
  4. Jemima could bring a claim to the employment tribunal if she believes her past, current, or future treatment will be less favourable because of her pregnancy.  This extends further to include employer subjection of any detriment because of Jemima’s pregnancy.  Examples include dismissal, reduction in hours, or demotion.
  5. Jemima has received medical advice and been advised of potential health complications for her and her unborn child, attributable to continued exposure to dry cleaning fluid fumes.  Jemima should now request a reasonable adjustment to her role to mitigate potential health issues.  Should the employer refuse this request or terminate Jemima’s employment, she may have a claim for unfair dismissal (HSWA, 1974).


Q2. "Is Sarah entitled to take time off for antenatal care?"

From the given case study, Sarah is seeking to exercise her right to leave work one hour before finishing time for ante-natal care (ERA, 1996).  This request is protected by Section 55 of the Employment Rights Act 1996 and reinforced by other employment laws, such as the Equality Act 2010, which forbids discrimination against employees based on pregnancy or maternity (ERA, 2010).

Ante-natal care includes health reviews, parentcraft classes, and pregnancy yoga.  Sarah’s employer, Mitchell & Co, has previously permitted her midwife appointments, who recommends Sarah also attend pregnancy yoga classes.  As pregnant employees have a right to reasonable paid time off work for antenatal care, as recommended by a medical professional, such as a midwife, Sarah is entitled to her request (ERA, 1996).  The employer should permit Sarah to leave one hour early each Wednesday to attend her pregnancy yoga classes without impacting pay or altering working hours.  Should Sarah’s employer unreasonably refuse her request, the employer may be subject to claims of unfair treatment or discrimination (EA, 2010).


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