Q: Last week I told my manager at work that I’m three months pregnant. This week they told me they’re letting me go due to poor performance.

I’ve worked here for two years and never had any negative feedback. Could they be sacking me just for being pregnant? Is this legal?

A: However long you’ve been employed, being fired because of pregnancy is automatically classed as unfair dismissal. Although your employer said you were being sacked for poor performance, you’re right to be suspicious. Ask for written reasons.

As you have been employed for two years, your employer can only dismiss you for specified fair reasons, such as gross misconduct or persistent poor performance. They must follow a fair process and show their evidence.

To challenge the dismissal, act quickly as time limits are short.

First raise a grievance with your employer and contact the Advisory Conciliation and Arbitration Service.

If necessary, you can take your case to an employment tribunal - gather as much evidence as possible, including correspondence and appraisal records. The new Citizens Advice Discrimination Toolkit, found on their website, can help you with this.

Free, confidential advice and help is available from South Lakes Citizens Advice on any aspect of debt, consumer problems, benefits, housing, employment or any other problems. We have various outlets across South Lakeland and can also give advice over the phone – telephone 03444 111 444 for an appointment and help, 015394 46464 for debt and on-going inquiries. Please note the opening hours at Windermere have been reduced, but contact details remain the same.