Maternity Leave Discrimination - Employer refuses to increase pay of employee until she returned from maternity leave

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Former Apprentice succeeds in multiple claims at ET which leads to compensation in excess of £24,000

In early 2017 the Mrs Amin was informed by her employer that once she completed her apprenticeship, she would be given a new contract of employment and an as a result her salary would be increased.  In June 2017 the Mrs Amin informed the employer that she was pregnant and completed her apprenticeship course on 28 June 2017. Mrs Amin immediately informed the employer that she had completed her course and asked to be given her new contract of employment with the increased rate of pay.

Her employer informed her that they would not be able to provide either until she provided evidence of having completed the course even though they had received an email from the course assessor confirming that she had completed the course.

Once Mrs Amin received her course certificate in September, she forwarded this to her employer and gave notice of her intentions of maternity leave which would run from November to June 2018. With this she requested the new contract and the pay rise which had been previously promised. She was refused. Her employer informed her that the numbers in the nursery had decreased and they as a result could not employ her on the new terms until she has finished her maternity leave. Mrs Amin was dissatisfied with the terms that her employer had suggested and raised this with her manager in the September. During this meeting her Line manager discussed words to the effect of “your brain does not function properly because you are pregnant”.

Mrs Amin commenced maternity leave and returned to work in the June of 2018. She was then given the new contract in the July of 2018 but was paid holiday payments for the month following at SMP rate of the old contract of employment. After the holiday period Mrs Amin tendered her resignation and detailed the reasons as she felt discriminated against for being pregnant and taking maternity leave and believe that if this was not the case her issues with the pay would not have unfolded in such way.

As a result, Mrs Amin claimed at ET for pregnancy and maternity discrimination, constructive dismissal and unauthorised deductions of wages. At ET all claims was succeeded. They stresses that the employer had taken advantage of the claimant going on maternity leave to save money as a result of delaying the new contract and that this was indeed an act of unfavourable treatment because of her pregnancy.

Overall Mrs Amin was awarded £24,950.95 compensation for her treatment, in loss of earnings, interest on such costs and £15000.00 in injury to feelings.

What does this mean for your business?

This case is a prime example of a business treating an employee differently once they announce they are pregnant. It demonstrates how a business can be deemed as taking advantage of employee’s maternity for a financial gain. When an employee asserting a statutory right to maternity leave, they should not suffer a detriment as a result like the claimant in this case. Does your business have a solid understanding of the rights to pregnant employees? Our expert Advisers can support you and your managers, so you do not fall sort of the law – call us today on 0844 327 2293


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