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Dismissed on account of pregnancy. How are you protected?

by , 24 February 2015
The Code of Good Practice states that even the father of the child may not be unfairly discriminated against on grounds of the pregnancy of his wife or life partner.

The actual law states that no person may be discriminated against or dismissed on account of pregnancy, according to paragraph 4.2 of the Code of Good Practice on the Protection of Employees during Pregnancy and after the Birth of Her Child. But the most important aspect is the right to be protected in this case is a Constitutional right.

Note! This barrier against unfair discrimination is entrenched in the Constitution, in section 9 (3) and (4).

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The prohibition against unfair discrimination is also entrenched in the Labour Relations Act in section the 187 (e), and in the Employment Equity Act, section 6, according to labourguide.co.za.

Thus, in this case, the employees are protected by the Constitution, on one hand, and by the two Acts of Parliament, namely the Labour Relations Act and the Employment Equity Act.

In a context like this, employees have rights that protect them when faced with employers who are trying to avoid the law. If you are an employee, you should definitely know your rights so you can protect yourself in any situation.

And if you are an employer, you should understand that the employees are being offered legal rights and are being protected by several law acts from situations where employers might want to dismiss them for the wrong reasons.

Employers would be wise to note that many of the rights bestowed upon the employee places a corresponding duty or legal obligation upon the employer. The rights of employees thus cannot be ignored.

Also, keep in mind that the Code of Good Practice on the Protection of Employees during Pregnancy and after the Birth of the Child refers to section 26 (1) of the Basic Conditions of Employment Act, which in turn protects breast-feeding mothers upon their return to work.

For pregnant and breast-feeding employees, the Code of Good Practice accentuates specific requirements in section 5, requiring the employer to act in terms of the identification and assessment of risks, and implementing appropriate action to avoid any risks to the health of the employee or the unborn child, or risks to the breast-feeding child.

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