Law guide: Employment

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Paternity leave and protection against detriment or dismissal

Paternity leave and protection against detriment or dismissal

Contents

Paternity leave and protection against detriment or dismissal

Employees are protected from suffering a detriment or dismissal for taking, or seeking to take paternity leave.

Detrimental treatment and paternity leave

You must not subject an employee to any detriment by acting (or deliberately not acting), because they took or wanted to take paternity leave.

In addition, an employer must not subject an employee to any detriment by acting (or deliberately not acting) because they took or wanted to take an antenatal appointment.

Examples of detrimental treatment include denial of promotion, facilities or training opportunities which you normally would have made available to the employee.

If an employee believes you have treated them detrimentally under these circumstances, they may raise a grievance with you. This may result in a tribunal claim for detrimental treatment if you fail to address it.

Dismissal and paternity leave

You must not dismiss an employee or select them for redundancy because they took or wanted to take paternity leave, or prevent an employee returning to work after their paternity leave.

If you dismiss an employee in these circumstances, they may take a complaint of unfair dismissal to an employment tribunal regardless of their length of service.

In addition, you shouldn't dismiss an employee because they took or wanted to take time off for an antenatal appointment, or because you believed that they were going to do so.

Redundancy during paternity leave

If there is a redundancy situation at the same time as an employee's paternity leave, you must treat them the same as any other employee under the circumstances. This might be consulting them about the redundancy or considering them for any other suitable job vacancies.