Nursery worker sacked after revealing pregnancy awarded £40,000 - MLP Law

Nursery worker sacked after revealing pregnancy awarded £40,000

A former nursery manager, described by an Employment Tribunal Judge as having been dismissed because she was pregnant, has won her claim for unfair dismissal and discrimination, receiving nearly £40,000 in compensation. Facts Following the announcement of Ms Cousins’ pregnancy she was accused by her line manager of falsifying wages and was then deducted 95 […]

Nursery worker sacked after revealing pregnancy awarded £40,000

A former nursery manager, described by an Employment Tribunal Judge as having been dismissed because she was pregnant, has won her claim for unfair dismissal and discrimination, receiving nearly £40,000 in compensation.

Facts

Following the announcement of Ms Cousins’ pregnancy she was accused by her line manager of falsifying wages and was then deducted 95 hours without warning or explanation (although these were later repaid).  She was then sacked for gross misconduct on grounds that she falsified the hours worked and failed to use the sign-in book.  Until that point, Ms Cousins had described having a good working relationship with her manager.  

Furthermore, during disciplinary proceedings, Ms Cousins’ manager emailed her 90 questions about her time-keeping records at 5pm and demanded written explanations for them by 10am the following day.

Moreover, when Ms Cousins announced that she was pregnant, she was also denied her requests for important hospital appointments and was made to change the times of some of the visits, which later caused her problems.

Decision

The Employment Tribunal ruled that Ms Cousins had been unfairly dismissed and was subject to discrimination on the grounds of her pregnancy, describing the disciplinary process as ‘oppressive and high handed’.  It was determined that the reason for the Ms Cousins’ dismissal was her pregnancy.

Comment

This is a timely reminder to employers that any disciplinary action, however well founded, must be fair, reasonable and procedurally sound at all times but particularly so when the employee in question is pregnant.

If you have any questions about the above please contact the MLP Law Employment team at employment@mlplaw.co.uk or 0161 926 9969. Please also keep an eye out on our Twitter feed @HRHeroUK and for our regular blogs on all things Employment Law and HR.

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