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.”


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

Share →

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


    4.80 Average

    312 Reviews


    I have been very pleased with the support I got from Redmans Solicitors on my case with my employer. Caroline has always helped me to put things in perspective and showed me different scenarios ultimately to help me taking the right decision. She was very professional and always available when I needed, and at the same time also emphatic which I found also really important to establish a strong relationship. Will definitely recommend!

    Posted 15 hours ago


    Prompt and efficient response to my enquiries. Excellent negotiating skills with my employer which considerably improved the terms of my settlement agreement.

    Posted 16 hours ago


    Very quick and professional service , Rana was very helpful

    Posted 1 day ago

    James G

    Very professional, knowledgeable and kept me informed at every stage of my case. I would highly recommend Redmans.

    Posted 2 days ago

    Pravina P

    Chris was really good and help solve my issues with current company. I would recommend him to anyone.

    Posted 1 week ago

    Paul L

    Sacha was extremely helpful in my matter. I would not hesitate you use Sacha or Redmonds again. Everyone was very helpful.

    Posted 2 weeks ago

    Monique N

    I had Mel Chin helping me with a settlement and she was very professional and reliable throughout my case. Mel provided me with a good understanding of what was happening and gave suggestions on routes I could take. My case was resolved and closed promptly although the opposing side were very difficult to deal with. A very big thank you to Mel and Chris.

    Posted 2 weeks ago

    Jackie C

    My first ever experience needing the services of a solicitor; cannot speak highly enough of Mel and Chris’s personable, reassuring and straight to the point advice in dealing with my settlement agreement. They put me at ease during an extremely stressful time. I am equally as happy with the outcome, as l am their professional services.

    Posted 2 weeks ago


    Really happy with the service. All very efficient. Mel rattled through things very fast, however was great whenever I needed to stop and ask a question! Would definitely return to Redmans if I ever needed Legal advice.

    Posted 3 weeks ago

    Peter F

    Very helpful and clear advice, would highly recommend.

    Posted 3 weeks ago

    William A

    Second time I have had to use Redmans. They did not disappoint. They are fast , efficient and friendly. I have already recommended them to friends and colleagues. I hope I dont have to use them again but if I have to , they are the solicitors for me.

    Posted 3 weeks ago

    Fleeta C

    Great service with tantastic communications. The solicitor responsible is extremely knowledgeable and was responsible for bringing a timely and desired solution.

    Posted 3 weeks ago

    Veronica M

    Extremely helpful, starting from a request for advice at very short notice, to dedicating time for me to understand and review all documents thoroughly.

    Posted 3 weeks ago

    Sophie R

    Very efficient and professional service. Chris was very empathetic, knowledgeable and personable. Highly recommended.

    Posted 4 weeks ago

    Melanie M

    Very happy with the detailed advice provided from Redmans. They also helped me to secure a higher settlement than originally offered by my employer and were extremely diligent. I first spoke with Chris at relatively short notice and then Sacha dealt with my case. Would definitely recommend and use again in the future if needed.

    Posted 4 weeks ago


    Redmans helped me with a work related issue, which was resolved quickly and professionally. I would definitely recommend this company.

    Posted 1 month ago

    James F

    Great people, really friendly and professional helped with everything that I needed.

    Posted 1 month ago

    Anusha S

    My case was handled by Sacha who was very thorough and helped me to achieve a good outcome with my employer. Sacha was very personal, professional and helped me during quite a stressful time, so I am hugely grateful to her and to Redmans. This was my first time engaging with a law firm so I wasn't sure what to expect but I can definitely say that it was a good experience overall and I ended up better off due to having the help of an experienced and proactive solicitor on my side.

    Posted 1 month ago

    Diane P

    So grateful that I contacted Redmans to deal with my Redundancy Agreement. Everything from the initial call to the completion of the matter was professional, efficient and effective. I was listened to, had everything explained simply and kept informed of every step. I received super advice and the costs were very competitive. I would highly recommend them to anyone seeking similar help. First class service - thank you

    Posted 1 month ago

    Chris L

    It was a very efficient and effective service - Would recommend.

    Posted 1 month ago


    Exceeded my expectations. Very professional and proactive. I highly recommend them.

    Posted 1 month ago