How Martin Searle Solicitors helped a woman win an Employment Tribunal claim when she had been unfairly dismissed after she went sick with a pregnancy related illness.
Kirstie worked part time as a stylist in a hair salon. Her shifts varied from week to week. She informed her manager soon after she became aware she was pregnant and initially everything was fine. Unfortunately, Kirstie’s pregnancy did not go well and she had to spend time in hospital resting, to ensure her baby could be delivered at full term. After four weeks off she texted her manager saying she was fit to return to work. The manager responded saying “no more shifts for you” and alleged that Kirstie was giving priority to her own clients who she saw at home rather than the salon’s clients.
We advised Kirstie that she had been dismissed and had a potential claim of unfair dismissal. Because she was pregnant and/or had a pregnancy related illness and had been treated unfavourably, this was discrimination under the Equality Act 2010. In these types of discrimination, there is no need to show she had been treated less favorably than a man would have been. Her former employer refused to accept that Kirstie had been dismissed and would not offer compensation. Kirstie had been on low pay and was claiming benefits and as we felt she had a strong case, we agreed to represent her on a “no-win-no-fee” basis. This is called a damages based agreement.
The company defended the claim all the way to a Tribunal hearing. During the process they suggested that Kirstie had been claiming benefits fraudulently and at the Employment Tribunal criticised her performance although this had never been raised before. We represented her as her advocate and Kirstie won her case. She was awarded £11,632 which included £10,000 plus interest for injury to feelings.