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Acas and the Equality Human Rights Commission have published a new guide to help employers understand the rights of women who are pregnant or on maternity leave when facing redundancy. The mediation service says that it receives 15,000 calls a year to its helpline from employers and employees tackling the issue, while there were 1,900 tribunal cases last year in which pregnant women or new mothers claimed unfair dismissal or discrimination after being made redundant."There is still a lot of confusion amongst employers about managing an employee who is pregnant when their role is genuinely being made redundant,” said Steve Williams, Acas Head of Equality. “No redundancy situation is nice, but it can be made a lot worse if an employer is not aware of the law or how to treat a person fairly. "Supervisors and managers need to know the specific rights of pregnant women and women on maternity leave. We know that employers want easy to understand help to handle these situations correctly." The new guide, 'Managing redundancy for pregnant employees or those on maternity leave', urges employers to focus on four important questions when considering which posts to make redundant: whether the redundancy is genuine, whether employees have been consulted correctly, whether the right selection criteria have been applied and whether an alternative vacancy has been offered. These four questions are vital for any redundancy situation and employers should not lose sight of them just because an employee with maternity rights is involved, the guide stresses.Sarah Anderson, Commissioner for the Equality and Human Rights Commission, said: "Prospective and new mothers are not always sure of their rights around redundancy, nor are their employers - especially those running small and medium size enterprises. This can lead to mistakes being made. This guide will help managers get redundancy decisions right the first time. Otherwise an expensive tribunal case could end up costing the business more."