Pregnant care home worker awarded £25,000
An employment tribunal has been told of a claimant who was four months away from giving birth, and who asked to take a short tea break while working at a care home, only to told she was “treating her pregnancy as an excuse not to pull her weight”.
The employee was accused of taking too many breaks and was refused another break in the afternoon. She was called “pathetic” for making the request. The employee went off sick and raised a grievance, citing an “ongoing culture of bullying and discrimination due to her pregnancy”.
It was concluded that the incidents constituted discriminatory behaviour from the company, particularly since the employee had a good relationship with all staff before her pregnancy, and both incidents involved the claimant being accused of not doing her job properly. It was found that the most likely explanation for the way this employee was treated was because the employer resented the pregnancy, as it caused the employee to be less physically capable.
The judge said, “In the absence of any alternative and satisfactory explanation for them treating the Claimant in the way that they did, we are satisfied that the Claimant’s pregnancy was an effective cause of their behaviour on both occasions.”
The employee was awarded £24,460.52 in compensation.
Any woman who is treated differently or unfairly during the period of her pregnancy, maternity leave, recently after giving birth or while breastfeeding could make a claim for discrimination.
If you have any concerns relating to pregnant employees, seek advice from 121 HR Solutions on 0800 9995 121.