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Case Study: Unfair Dismissal from Hair Salon Leads to £12,000 Settlement


How Martin Searle Solicitors settled a maternity and sex discrimination claim for £12,000 the day before the Employment Tribunal Hearing.

The situation

Holly worked one day a week as a hairdresser at a local salon. The manager agreed that Holly could also attend college a day a week to complete her NVQ level 2. Sally, the manager, was required to provide Holly with on-the-job training as part of the NVQ.

Nearly 11 months after starting the job, Holly discovered she was pregnant. She told her supervisor and Sally. The following week Holly noticed Sally was treating her differently, frequently making derogatory comments to her in front of customers and staff.

Holly suffered from bad morning sickness. On a number of occasions Sally blamed this on Holly being a ‘fragile person’. Yet Holly did not take time off except for her midwife and ante-natal appointments. Sally also accused Holly of creating a bad impression by placing her hands on her stomach. This treatment began to upset her a great deal.

After a month, Sally dismissed Holly explaining that she was unable to deal with Holly’s pregnancy or her morning sickness. She said she could not afford to pay maternity pay as it would cripple the business. Sally did not follow any dismissal procedures and refused to pay Holly her notice pay saying: “You are not dismissed, I am just letting you go.”

With her father’s help, Holly issued a claim for unfair dismissal and sex discrimination. She contacted Martin Searle Solicitors for pregnancy discrimination advice three weeks before the Hearing date.

What Martin Searle Solicitors did

When Holly came to see the Employment Team in our Croydon solicitors office, we advised her the dismissal was automatically unfair as it was due to her pregnancy. This is also sex discrimination. Ahead of the hearing we negotiated with the salon on Holly’s behalf.

The result

Before the hearing we secured a settlement of £12,000 and a favourable reference to help Holly find a future role with another salon.

Find out how we can help you with an unfair dismissal case by contacting us on 01273 609911, or email

Martin Searle Solicitors, 9 Marlborough Place, Brighton, BN1 1UB
T: 01273 609 991

Martin Searle Solicitors is the trading name of ms solicitors ltd, which is authorised and regulated by the Solicitors Regulation Authority, and is registered in England under company number 05067303.

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