Does dismissal for absences due to post-natal depression arising after maternity leave amount to sex and/or pregnancy and maternity discrimination?

Posted in : First Tuesday Q&A ROI on 4 June 2013
Zelda Cunningham
Arthur Cox
Issues covered:

Irish courts have not yet dealt with the issue of whether dismissal for absence due to post-natal depression after maternity leave amounts to sex and/or pregnancy discrimination. The UK EAT held this did not amount to pregnancy discrimination because the dismissal occurred after maternity leave ended and did not amount to sex discrimination either because of the absence of an actual or hypothetical male comparator.

In Ireland, the Maternity Protection Act 1994 (the “1994 Act”) creates a “protected period” which entitles women to special consideration during this period if necessary. This protected period begins when the employer is notified about the pregnancy and continues to the end of

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Back to Q&A's This article is correct at 02/09/2015

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Zelda Cunningham
Arthur Cox

The main content of this article was provided by Zelda Cunningham. Contact telephone number is +353 1 618 0000 or email

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