How Fiona Martin secured £30,000 compensation for a woman who was unfairly dismissed as a result of her pregnancy.
Deborah had just started work as an administrator when she discovered she was pregnant. This was a surprise as she was on a waiting list for NHS fertility treatment. She was advised by a colleague not to tell the company straightaway as the MD would be upset.
Deborah passed her probationary period and decided to tell her line manager about her pregnancy before her first hospital scan. When Deborah returned to work she was immediately dismissed on the grounds that her performance was not up to scratch.
The company did not follow a fair process and had never advised her before that her performance was in question. Deborah left immediately and was paid in lieu of notice.
As is often the case, Deborah’s employer assumed she had no right to bring a claim for unfair dismissal as she had less than one year’s service. Unfortunately for them, pregnancy-related dismissal is an exception to this rule.
From our office in Brighton, Fiona Martin drafted a grievance on Deborah’s behalf, hoping the employer would either reinstate her and compensate her for this act of pregnancy discrimination, or offer a sensible settlement sum to compensate her for injury to feeling and loss of earnings.
However, the employer refused to admit they had dismissed Deborah due to her pregnancy. As a result, we issued employment law proceedings in the Tribunal. These were defended with the employer providing more than 10 witness statements to try and demonstrate they had not discriminated against her.
Ahead of the Tribunal we successfully negotiated a settlement figure of £30,000 together with an agreed reference to help Deborah find alternative work after her baby was born.