Netflix Employee Takes Streaming Platform to Court Over Redundancy During Maternity Leave

A Netflix employee is set to sue the streaming giant following her redundancy during maternity leave. Although the exact motives for the decision are unknown, we explore the unfolding events and provide insight concerning maternity leave redundancy laws in the UK.

If you have any questions or believe your maternity rights have been breached, get in touch with Redmans Solicitors now. With our years of experience, we can answer your questions and guide you through the legal process if you are eligible.

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Netflix Sued Over Maternity Leave Redundancy

Vanessa Hughes was a marketing manager for Australia and New Zealand at Netflix before facing redundancy during maternity leave. She had been with the company for over two years and had won several awards for her marketing campaigns. Having launched more than 20, she gained recognition for her part in promoting Stranger Things and Squid Game.

Unfortunately for Ms Hughes, she was eventually made redundant in her role. This happened during her maternity leave and triggered her pursuit of justice in the courts.

Netflix’s stance on parental leave can be found in its policy. Here, they state, “We recognise that one of the most special events in an individual’s life is the birth or adoption of a child”. As such, they claim to see parental leave as a time to “take care of your baby and yourself”.

Though the specifics of the case are currently unclear, it underscores the issue of redundancy during maternity leave and highlights the necessity of protections for pregnant employees. Further details are awaited to comprehend the situation entirely.

Unpacking UK Laws on Redundancy During Maternity Leave

In the UK, robust laws protect employees against redundancy during maternity leave. As of 6 April 2024, these protections have been bolstered, extending from the employee’s pregnancy through 18 months after childbirth. However, it’s imperative for employees to notify their employer of their pregnancy.

Throughout this safeguarded period, if an employer contemplates redundancies, they must prioritise offering “suitable alternative employment” to protected employees. The suitability of a position would be determined based on various factors, including salary and similarity to the previous role.

Because of this protection, employees potentially better suited for a role could be made redundant first. However, failure to adhere to this principle may lead to claims of automatic unfair dismissal against the employer, so compliance is essential.

In scenarios where more employees are entitled to redundancy protection than suitable alternative roles are available, the employer faces a challenging decision. Here, the employer would be required to consider factors such as experience and skills to determine which protected employees would avoid redundancy. For those who are made redundant, even with their protection, the employer must engage in discussions to outline their decision.

Maternity Leave Redundancies: Employee Entitlements

Despite the protections in place, employees on maternity leave can still face redundancy. Yet, if this happens, they have certain legal entitlements.

Similar to other employees being made redundant, those on maternity leave are entitled to remuneration for any untaken, accrued holidays and must receive the correct notice. If they’ve been employed for at least two years, they are also entitled to statutory redundancy pay. Depending on their contract, they may even be eligible for an enhanced figure.

Unlike regular employees, if someone faces redundancy during maternity leave, they are also entitled to statutory maternity pay or maternity allowance if they were already receiving it. This remains the case even if their employment ends before their leave does. Typically, entitlement to enhanced maternity pay ceases once employment ends, but it’s worth checking the contract just in case.

Get Help With Redmans

Dealing with redundancy during maternity leave can be very stressful. This is especially the case if the employer doesn’t handle the process fairly. If you have any queries about maternity leave redundancies or believe you’ve been unjustly treated, contact Redmans Solicitors.

We are employment law specialists and have years of experience dealing with such issues. Upon contacting us, we will discuss your case and advise on your possible next steps. If eligible, we could also navigate you through the legal process effectively.

So, to begin your journey with us today: