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Can employer reduce hours of pregnant employee?

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  1. #1

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    Can employer reduce hours of pregnant employee?

    My wife is pregnant and this is known to her employer. She is employed on a continuous contract. Her employer has unilaterally decided to reduce her contracted working hours. Are they allowed to do this?


  2. #2

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    Quote Originally Posted by wharrison6
    My wife is pregnant and this is known to her employer. She is employed on a continuous contract. Her employer has unilaterally decided to reduce her contracted working hours. Are they allowed to do this?
    I'm not sure but intuitively:

    1. you will have to look at the employment contract and see what (if anything) it says about reduced hours

    2. the employer is not allowed to discriminate against a pregnant employee (or one who was pregnant). Were any other employees also told their hours would be reduced or was it just you wife?
    shri and hullexile like this.

  3. #3

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    Point 2 is important. Also is she on a fixed salary or hourly/daily contract with any guarantees?


  4. #4

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    She is on a fixed salary.

    We do not believe anyone else has been asked to reduce their hours. Her employer’s argument is that her role (of which she is the only one) is not required as much as it was previously. Does this absolve them? Roles in her company are quite fungible but it is true that she is the only person in Role X.


  5. #5

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    Quote Originally Posted by wharrison6
    She is on a fixed salary.

    We do not believe anyone else has been asked to reduce their hours. Her employer’s argument is that her role (of which she is the only one) is not required as much as it was previously. Does this absolve them? Roles in her company are quite fungible but it is true that she is the only person in Role X.
    Do you know if anyone else is picking up any of the work your wife used to do before her hours were cut?

    If the answer is "yes" then I'd be inclined to say there's an issue. If the answer is "no" then the employer may be in a more arguable defensible position (legally at least). Possibly time to speak with an employment lawyer?

    Side point to note: pay while on maternity leave is 4/5ths of the average daily wage for the12 months preceding the commencement of maternity leave. It's not based only on her pay just before she starts maternity leave.

    https://www.labour.gov.hk/eng/public...seGuide/06.pdf

  6. #6

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    Someone will definitely be picking up the work. Would my wife have a legitimate grievance in that situation owing to her being pregnant, over just a regular person having their hours reduced?

    noted re maternity pay being calculated on the average of the trailing 12 months - thanks.


  7. #7

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    Quote Originally Posted by wharrison6
    Someone will definitely be picking up the work. Would my wife have a legitimate grievance in that situation owing to her being pregnant, over just a regular person having their hours reduced?

    noted re maternity pay being calculated on the average of the trailing 12 months - thanks.
    If the work your wife used to do is now being done by someone else, IMHO the employer has lost the right to claim the reduction is due to redundancy. Possibly time to contact the Labour Department or an employment lawyer?

  8. #8

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    your mrs get paid a fixed salary per month??
    employer is reducing her hours but she is still getting a fixed salary??

    so whats the issue if she shes still getting paid the same out regardless of how many hours worked, isnt less better or did I misunderstand the issue here??

    If I misunderstood then inform labour dept, easy peasy.

    shri and jrkob like this.

  9. #9

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    Thanks all - will decide how to proceed. She definitely feels aggrieved so I suspect we’ll raise this to the labour dept.
    @chuckster007 perhaps “fixed salary” was misleading - her pay is reduced commensurate to her reduction in hours.

    chuckster007 likes this.

  10. #10

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    Quote Originally Posted by wharrison6
    Thanks all - will decide how to proceed. She definitely feels aggrieved so I suspect we’ll raise this to the labour dept.
    @chuckster007 perhaps “fixed salary” was misleading - her pay is reduced commensurate to her reduction in hours.
    Ah reduced pay!! got it. Go to war.

    Please come back to update this thread with what Labour depts says. cheers.