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Can an employer dismiss a pregnant employee from her job?

When an employee is pregnant, it is a sensitive period for her and her family. For many, it is a life-changing experience.

The law recognises that it is wrong to add to the burden and stress of pregnancy. Hence, pregnant employees have certain maternity protections during this period.

Dismissing an employee because of pregnancy is against the law. Employers should treat pregnant employees fairly, and assess them on their merits and the requirements of the job. If a decision is taken to dismiss an employee, it must be based on relevant and objective performance criteria, and after a thorough inquiry.

Furthermore, a pregnant employee has maternity protection if she has been at her job for at least 3 months.

This means that if a pregnant employee is dismissed without sufficient cause, or is retrenched, the employer is still required to pay her maternity benefits.

If you have not been paid your maternity leave benefits, you can approach MOM for assistance.