Sacked woman following a miscarriage awarded more than £10,000

A woman who suffered a miscarriage and received a dismissal letter just three weeks later has won a discrimination case at the employment tribunal.

Following the miscarriage, the employee took some annual leave following the miscarriage, before being signed off sick by her GP for two weeks.  But during this time she received a letter notifying her of the termination of her job. The letter explained that her dismissal was due to “poor performance” and “Not being fit to complete your role within the company as per Employment Act 1996 83.1 amend 2020.” The letter went on to state: “Sadly we will not accept another sick line.”

The tribunal observed that the reason for dismissal reflected the claimant’s fitness for her role  as a result of absence caused by having had a miscarriage. Women who are not well enough to work following a miscarriage before the end of the 24th week of pregnancy are entitled to take sick leave. If that illness is certified as pregnancy or miscarriage-related by a GP such sick leave is legally protected in the same way as sick leave for a pregnancy-related illness.

The employment judge concluded that the firm had acted in a discriminatory manner by breaching the Equality Act 2010 and awarded £7,000 compensation for “pain and suffering”, with a further £3,326.66 in lost wages.

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