£28,000 payout for degrading and humiliating treatment of a pregnant employee

An HR Assistant has told an employment tribunal that she was left ‘degraded’ and ‘humiliated’ after finding herself demoted to housekeeping duties and accused of theft.

Representing herself at the employment tribunal hearing, she was awarded more than £28,000 after the panel ruled that she was subjected to a ‘discriminatory regime’ which penalised pregnant workers by creating a ‘hostile’ and ‘intimidating’ environment.

According to the employee, when she announced her pregnancy, her manager became hostile, shouting at her and assigning her physically demanding tasks. When she briefly went off sick with a pregnancy-related illness several weeks before her maternity leave, the manager refused her sick pay in an apparent act of punishment.

Later, during her maternity period, she was falsely accused of stealing food from the canteen and made to attend an investigatory meeting.

When she returned to work after giving birth, she had been removed from her HR role, and moved into the sales team, then assigned to housekeeping; actions which the tribunal concluded were an attempt “to create a hostile or intimidating environment”.

All employees are entitled to be treated with respect at work, and pregnant employees have protection from any treatment which results in them feeling discriminated due to their pregnancy.  121 HR Solutions can assist employers manage pregnant employees with policy, procedure and advice. Contact us on enquiries@121hrsolutions.co.uk and we can discuss.

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