Lending a Helping Hand To Pregnant PME After Unfair Dismissal

   Pregnancy is great news for the family, but when it comes to the employers, it can mean different things. Some employers embrace the news and show support for their employees, while others may deem the pregnancy as an unnecessary cost to the company.

   In 2013, Mrs Neha, a 27-years-old a former childhood educator, was dismissed shortly after informing her employer of her pregnancy. She was about 10 months into the job and everything was going smoothly. Mrs Neha’s employer claimed that her dismissal was based on her “poor performance” at work. However, Mrs Neha knew that the real reason was her pregnancy, as her employer had had no issues with her working capability before. This unexpected lay off had left Mrs Neha very devastated and disheartened.

   Just when Mrs Neha thought that she had no other way but to bear with the unjust circumstance in silence, her father reminded her that she is a member of the Education Services Union (ESU). Mrs Neha then approached NTUC for help, and was able to get a case officer who assisted in submitting a case to the Ministry of Manpower.

   ESU had been a great source of moral support for Mrs Neha. The ESU officers were able to respond to Mrs Neha’s enquires quickly and provide her with all the information she needed. “The officers guided me at every stage. I had many questions and called them very often. They were always there, around the clock, to assure me,” Mrs Neha shared.

   Indeed, ESU was a beacon of hope in a dark time for Mrs Neha. In November 2013, proceedings for the case started and finally in January, Mrs Neha’s employer agreed on paying her two months’ ex-gratia payment. On top of that, ESU had submitted an appeal to the Central Provident Fund board on her behalf, Mrs Neha was able to receive another two months’ worth of government-paid maternity payment.

   Discrimination at the workplace should not be tolerated. Today, NTUC provides multiple services to educate local PMEs and help them understand their employment rights. Like Mrs Neha, many other PMEs had benefited from the service of ESU; they were able to voice out the unethical actions of their ex-employers, and for some, receive a fair amount of compensation for the grievance suffered.

   If you are facing any workplace issue, head down to a U PME centre to seek advice. With NTUC, help is right around the corner.










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