Information Commissioner's Office. Your right of access. 2018a. (accessed 17 September 2018)

Rights Info. The European Convention on Human Rights. 2018. (accessed 17 September 2018)

Midwives' employment rights

02 November 2018
Volume 26 · Issue 11


What can midwives do if they have been unfairly sacked or suspended? As with any other profession, midwives have a right to fair process. Paul Golden exlains how they can assert this right

Suspension is a tool that can be used by employers in a variety of situations, for example while investigating an allegation against a midwife. What rights do midwives have when they are suspended or dismissed?

The articles of the European Convention on Human Rights [1953] that could apply include (Rights Info, 2018):

Article 14 (right not to be discriminated against) may also apply, although it can only be used in conjunction with another right.

The law has provided for fair process as ‘natural justice’ since the Magna Carta in 1215. These rights are included in the UK Employment Rights Act [1996] and the Human Rights Act [1998].

What happens when someone is suspended will depend on the employer. A common scenario is that a midwife is called into the office and told they have been suspended or dismissed, often without proper notice or information. They may be asked for their account of a situation (clinical or otherwise). The midwife has the right to have a support person (including union representative) present, and to know what the allegations and who the accusers are, according to the principles of natural justice and fair process.

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