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April 2008

What’s New?

IVF Treatment & Employee rights

A recent decision has given useful guidance on the rights of employees under-going IVF treatment.

In particular, do they have the same protection against dismissal that any pregnant employee would have?

How does it affect me?

The Court’s decision makes it clear that:-

  • An employee should only be regarded as pregnant once a fertilized ova has been implanted


  • The dismissal of a woman at any time for a reason related to her IVF treatment would amount to sex discrimination, since only women receive IVF treatment
  • Any other kind of less favourable treatment related to the IVF treatment would also amount to sex discrimination

What do I Need to Do?

  • Ensure that managers and other staff are aware of the need to act with care when dealing with a female employee who is undergoing IVF treatment
  • There is certainly no need for employers to make enquiries and, as a general rule, this is not to be encouraged not least because employers who have no knowledge or belief that an employee is undergoing IVF treatment will not be penalised for their
  • Be aware that discrimination by way of less favourable treatment can take many forms – such as denial of pay rises, promotion, training or selection for redundancy

New Statutory Rates

As usual, the statutory rates have been increased with effect from 6 April 2008 and are now as follows:-

Statutory Sick Pay – £75.40 per week

Statutory Maternity Pay – £117.18 per week

(For the first 6 weeks, the employee is paid 90% of their normal weekly earnings with SMP then payable at the above rate for up to a further 33 weeks)

Statutory Paternity Pay – £117.18 per week

A Week’s Pay – capped at £330.00

– for the purposes of calculating Statutory Redundancy Pay and the Basic Award (in Unfair Dismissal cases)

Unfair Dismissal

Compensatory Award for ‘ordinary claims’ capped at – £63,000

National Minimum Wage

£5.52 (22+)
£4.60 (18 – 21)
£3.40 (16 – 18)

If you have a query or would like to find out more about our services, please contact Paul Lane on 020 7712 1715 or email

Please note: The content of this Update does not constitute advice and it is not intended to be a comprehensive and definitive statement of the law. Advice should always be taken as to individual circumstances. Please refer to our Terms of Use.


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