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COVID-19: pregnant healthcare worker to bring claim against NHS employment agency for refusing to put her on furlough

NHS Professionals, an employment agency owned by the Department of Health and Social Care, is to be sued by a pregnant healthcare assistant after it refused to put her on furlough. The woman, who has worked for a London hospital on an agency contract for six years, was sent home by the agency for safety reasons eight weeks ago and has not worked or been paid since. She will argue that this is a breach of the Employment Rights Act 1996. Maternity Action, the charity supporting her, have stated that this is not a stand-alone case and warns that some employers and agencies are not abiding by the legal health and safety protections in place to protect pregnant women. The case could serve as a precedent for other vulnerable workers who have been left without work or pay as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic.