The Employment Tribunal have awarded Mrs Shipp £30,000 after finding she was unfairly dismissed and discriminated against on grounds of maternity and sex.
Mrs Shipp was subject to several inappropriate remarks from male work colleagues, including her employer’s director of operations, such as questions as to when she stopped taking contraception. Mrs Shipp also learned that male colleagues had joked about putting on a wager on how much weight she would gain during pregnancy.
Shortly after Mrs Shipp started her maternity leave, her employer had undergone a restructure and made several redundancies in Mrs Shipp’s department. Her employer had failed to inform her of this and later sent her an email informing her that her employment was being terminated. Her employer then dismissed a grievance she raised as a result of the termination of her employment.
The Employment Tribunal judge overseeing the case, Harjit Grewal, concluded ‘this was a serious case of maternity discrimination’ and also commented that ‘there cannot be anything worse for a woman on maternity leave to find out she has lost her job because she was on maternity leave and then to have to spend her maternity leave fighting to get her job back’.
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