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Woman wins maternity and pregnancy discrimination and constructive unfair dismissal claims against employer.  

By April 30, 2024Employment

Case Summary  

Ms Hinds was a Senior Regional Account Manager for her employer, Mitie and had a significant length of service. The Tribunal noted that Ms Hinds had a positive ‘can do’ attitude to her work. 

After learning of her pregnancy, Ms Hinds formally notified her employer on 23 July 2023 once she was in receipt of her MATB1 form at 20 weeks pregnant. Following her pregnancy announcement Ms Hinds felt attitudes towards her shift and she was subsequently encouraged to take up more of an administrative role.  

Ms Hinds was subjected to a wholly unmanageable workload and felt that she was working more hours than she ever had before. These concerns were subsequently raised with Mitie and her line manager, however the Tribunal notes that these complaints were in some instances “ignored” and not reasonably investigated.  

One particular email from her line manager stated, “I was expecting this email as Nicola has become very emotional and tearful especially over the last week or so… I am very frustrated with this as she is certainly not overworked and we have been very supportive in helping her manage her workload”.  

The Tribunal stated that her line manager was “stereotyping” Ms Hinds as an “emotional, hormonal pregnant woman” and had wanted to be seen as supportive when “he effectively wanted her out of the way as soon as possible“. 

Ms Hinds has since commented that whilst she “was pregnant the hormones or the emotional feelings that [she] was going through at the time were not because [she] was a pregnant woman but because [she] was an exhausted employee.” 

Employment judge Roger Tynan said: “Whether through a lack of relevant training or a lack of thought and attention, or because [her line manager] failed to prioritise such issues or simply assumed that others would take responsibility for them, [Ms Hinds line manager] failed to ensure that the organisation discharged its responsibilities to the claimant.” 

Miss Hinds was successful in her claims for constructive unfair dismissal and pregnancy and maternity discrimination and is now in line for compensation. 

This case provides an important reminder for employers to fairly and thoroughly investigate any complaints raised by its employees and to make sure its management are well trained and informed of its internal policies and procedures. 

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Natalie Howitt

Author Natalie Howitt

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