Want to talk to an expert employment law solicitor?

You'll receive a callback from a specialist within an hour

The European Court of Justice (“ECJ”) has held in Guisado v Bankia SA and others Case C-103/16 ECJ  that pregnant women are not legally entitled by virtue of EU law to special protection in collective redundancy situations.

The factual background of Guisado v Bankia SA and others

In January 2013 Bankia SA (a Spanish company) began consulting with employee representatives about a collective redundancy situation. It agreed redundancy selection criteria with the employee representatives and, in November 2013, the company informed Ms Guisado, who was pregnant at the time, by letter that she was being made redundant.  The letter that she was sent stated that staff numbers were being significantly reduced and that Ms Guisado had received a low score under the redundancy selection criteria. At the time that Bankia SA decided to make Ms Guisado redundant the relevant decision-maker was unaware of her pregnancy. Ms Guisado was subsequently dismissed and brought a claim of pregnancy discrimination in the local Spanish court.

Ms Guisado was unsuccessful with her claim in the Social Court (the local Spanish court) and appealed the decision to the Catalonian High Court of Justice. The Catalonian High Court subsequently asked the ECJ for clarification on: 1) its interpretation on the dismissal of workers who are pregnant and workers who are on maternity leave, save in exceptional cases where the dismissal is not connected with the relevant worker’s pregnancy or maternity leave (under Article 10 of the Pregnant Workers Directive (92/85/EC); and 2) its view of the interaction between the provisions of Article 10 of the Pregnant Workers Directive and the provisions of the Collective Redundancies Directive (98/59/EC).

The decision of the European Court of Justice

The ECJ held:

  1. That the wording of the Pregnant Workers Directive does not prevent national legislation which would allow the dismissal of pregnant workers through a collective redundancy process;
  2. That a dismissal taken at some point between the beginning of a worker’s pregnancy to the end of her maternity leave for reasons that are unconnected with the worker’s pregnancy is not contrary to Article 10 as long as: 1) the employer gives “substantiated grounds” for the dismissal in writing; and 2) the dismissal of the relevant employee is permitted under national legislation and/or practice

The ECJ further clarified that in situations where employers wished to make an employee who was pregnant or on maternity leave redundant it must:

  1. Set out in writing the reasons for making her redundant (an “ETO” reason i.e. for economic, technical or organisational reasons); and
  2. Inform the relevant worker (who is pregnant or on maternity leave) of the objective selection criteria which are being used to identify which workers will be made redundant

Our solicitors’ comments on Guisado v Bankia SA and others

Chris Hadrill, a specialist employment solicitor at Redmans, commented on the case: “Under UK law priority treatment is given to women who are placed at risk of redundancy whilst they are on maternity leave (this goes further than required under the relevant European Directive); this case clarifies that women are not entitled to special protection in a collective redundancy simply by virtue of being pregnant.”

About

Redmans Employment Team deal with employment matters for both employers and employees, including drafting employment contracts and policies, advising employers and employees on compromise agreements, handling day-to-day HR issues, advising on restructures, and handling Employment Tribunal cases for both employers and employees Call 020 3397 3603 to speak to one of the members of our employment team or email us on enquiries@redmans.co.uk. Redmans have offices in Richmond, Chiswick, Hammersmith, Fulham, Kingston, Wimbledon, Ealing, Kings Cross and Marylebone (meetings strictly by appointment only).

Want to talk to an expert employment law solicitor?

You'll receive a callback from a specialist within an hour

Our awards

Request a callback

    Your first name (required)

    Your last name (required)

    Your email (required)

    Your telephone number (required)

    Brief details of your enquiry

    Testimonials

    4.80 Average

    370 Reviews

    Glyn B

    Provided a great service, covered all my requirements

    Posted 6 hours ago

    Fidel A

    Redmans Solicitors recently helped me navigate a recent employment termination settlement agreement. Chris Hadrill is very professional and you will be in good hands with him. I score Redmans 4 out of 5 because things had to move fast and felt the team member assigned to my case wasn't very responsive at times. Having said that, I was very happy with the outcome and have no hesitation in recommending their services.

    Posted 23 hours ago

    Nigel A

    Chris Hadrill is hugely impressive - the right blend of assured calm and savvy professionalism. I've already recommended him to friends and family.

    Posted 1 day ago

    Matt O

    I was hugely impressed with the ease of being able to work with Redmans Solicitors and their professional approach. Mel was really clear around the process, and costings required and I felt comfortable throughout. I would certainly recommend.

    Posted 1 day ago

    Bryan G

    Great response, and also happy to assist

    Posted 1 day ago

    David L

    I was made a settlement offer by my employer to terminate my emplyment early. Redmans helped me understand the offer, and ensured that it was fair for someone in my position. They made a very stressful situation much easier. Excellent service.

    Posted 2 days ago

    Anonymous

    I can highly recommend Redmans. The service was professional and prompt and I would not hesitate to use them again. Thanks

    Posted 1 week ago

    Anonymous

    Overall I am satisfied with the performance from Redmans. The reason I have given 4 stars is that I had quite a lot difficulty in contacting the representative which was initially nominated for me. However, when I contacted Chris instead, he was excellent over the phone and secured a great outcome in short order. I would recommend Redmans Solicitors.

    Posted 1 week ago

    Anonymous

    Chris and Redmans were a great help. Effective and efficient, quick response from my first enquiry and then straightforward and attentive throughout with ultimately a positive outcome. I will use them again and recommend them.

    Posted 1 week ago

    Marie P

    Great service, quick responses, good advice and all in a no nonsense, no jargon manner. Would definitely recommend.

    Posted 2 weeks ago

    Anonymous

    Rana was amazingly thorough and professional!

    Posted 2 weeks ago

    Anonymous

    I am extremely happy with the legal advice I was provided with. My case was resolved to the best of my expectations. Thank you very much for your professional help.

    Posted 2 weeks ago

    Shahzad R

    Chris and his team were excellent. They provided sound advice and consultation that resulted in more cash than was offered. Would definitely recommend.

    Posted 2 weeks ago

    Sanjay B

    I would like to take this opportunity to thank Mel Chin, for all her support during my settlement process. Where she provided a professional service and was understanding. I would confidently recommend Redmans Solicitors to my friends and family. Thank you and wishing you all a Merry Christmas.

    Posted 4 weeks ago

    Paul O

    Excellent response time and communication during my dealings with Redmans

    Posted 1 month ago

    Gil T

    I don’t normally write reviews, but thought it was time on this occasion. Just wanted to say that I highly recommend Redmans - especially Rana Tandon, who helped me navigate around my employment contract. Rana was meticulous and thorough and all over my needs. Would I use Redmans again ? ..absolutely

    Posted 1 month ago

    Stephanie D

    Very thorough and professional service. I was very nervous about my employment case, as I had never dealt with anything like it before. However, the solicitors who handled my case made sure I understood everything. I was never kept in the dark and Redmans kept me constantly informed about what was going on with my case. I would definitely recommend Redmans Solicitors

    Posted 1 month ago

    Richard S

    Chris and Sacha were great throughout the entire process. Chris was very helpful once the initial discussions with my company began and before we agreed there was a case. Sacha was very responsive, patient and helpful throughout ensuring I felt I had the right information to make the best decision on next steps. A close friend and wife have both used Redmans in the past few years for unfair dismissals and the service continues to be first-class and I would strongly recommend them again. They definitely help reduce the anxiety that comes with uncertainty around new processes and situations. Thank you!

    Posted 1 month ago

    Jianya

    Very nice and patient went through the whole document with me.

    Posted 1 month ago

    Susan L

    Very helpful and led me through the redundancy process.

    Posted 1 month ago

    Jennice

    I was very impressed with the service that I received, and the speed in which it was handled. I would recommend them to a family member

    Posted 1 month ago