Protection from pregnancy and maternity discrimination applies from the start of your pregnancy to the end of your maternity leave (or, if you are not entitled to maternity leave, two weeks after birth). Where you are having IVF treatment and your employer is aware, you are treated as pregnant from the embryo transfer stage until the pregnancy can be confirmed.
If you have used annual leave to follow on from maternity leave, the protections do not extend into this annual leave.
Decisions made after you return to work but based on your pregnancy or maternity leave could still be discrimination. For example, if you return to work and are then chosen for redundancy based on performance targets that don’t account for your maternity leave, this would be discriminatory.
Unfavourable treatment related to motherhood (for example, inflexible working that is incompatible with childcare, or failure to offer breastfeeding facilities) may still be discriminatory. Here the claim would be sex discrimination rather than pregnancy and maternity discrimination.