Spa worker sacked after becoming pregnant wins pay-out - Palmers Solicitors

Spa worker sacked after becoming pregnant wins pay-out

Spa worker sacked after becoming pregnant wins pay-out

A beauty therapist, who was sacked just two weeks after announcing she was pregnant, has won her claim for unfair dismissal.

The woman, who worked at a health spa, has won more than £14,000 as part of the Employment Tribunal settlement.

At the time of the dismissal, Homefield Grange Retreat said they could not afford to keep Ms Agata Plewa because of a downturn in business, but it was discovered the company took on a new employee at around the same time Ms Plewa was made redundant.

This was despite Ms Plewa being described by her employers as ‘an absolute pleasure to work with and a true professional.’

The tribunal ruled that Ms Plewa had been sacked because of her pregnancy, and has now been awarded £14,257 in compensation.

In communication with her employers, Ms Plewa, who started the company in February 2017 as an aesthetic beauty therapist, was told she was an ‘exceptionally good’ employee.

The tribunal heard that the claimant announced she was pregnant on 3 July 2018, who then had a very strange email from her employers on 7 July effectively asking Ms Plewa what she wanted to do and by 14 July without any warning, she was made redundant.

The original judgement found Ms Plewa was treated less favourably because of her pregnancy by being dismissed and that dismissal was automatically unfair due to her pregnancy under the Employment Rights Act 1996.

Recent research by the Equality and Human Rights Commission has suggested that around 54,000 new mothers may be forced out of their jobs in Britain each year.

The findings were based on a survey of over 3,200 women, in which 11 per cent reported having been dismissed, made compulsorily redundant where others in their workplace were not, or treated so poorly they felt they had to leave their jobs.

If replicated across the population as a whole, this could mean as many as 54,000 women losing their jobs each year.

Samantha Randall, an Associate Solicitor with Palmers, who specialises in employment law matters said: “The Equality Act 2010 protects women against direct discrimination and victimisation because of the protected characteristic of pregnancy and maternity.

“This means that although you can be made redundant during pregnancy, you cannot be made redundant because you are pregnant. It’s an important distinction and if you suspect that your employer is treating you differently or unfairly based on either your pregnancy or maternity-related issues, it is important to seek specialist legal advice to understand your rights and possible legal redress.”

For help and advice on related employment matters, please get in touch with our expert employment law team.