Search

Call us on: 0333 2400 308

June 25, 2024

Tribunal Tales – Mrs H Todd v S Collins & Ors.

The Claimant in this case was an Account Manager at 52nd St Events Supplies Ltd. She had been in this position since August 2003. In 2022 the Claimant became pregnant with her second child. She informed her employer, Mr Shaun Collins, when she would take maternity leave, returning to work on 30 January 2023.

Her child was born earlier than expected and arrived on 1 May 2022 at which point her maternity leave began. Her intention was still to return in January, but this was not allowed to happen by Mr Collins. She was trying to take some annual leave and return but was prevented from doing so.

There was also an unresolved issue regarding maternity pay. In April 2022 the Claimant’s pay should have been increased due to changes in the national minimum wage but her pay continued to be processed at the lower rate. This had a knock-on effect on her maternity pay and despite explaining this to Mr. Collins, and providing evidence that her calculations were correct, he claimed that they were made up and he was too busy to pay her correctly.

The Claimant was summarily dismissed on 2 May 2023. She was dismissed for gross misconduct, with the email citing “misappropriation of funds” and explaining that she had made inaccurate claims of working hours and holidays that she was owed.

The Claimant requested an appeal, but this was not responded to.

She had 17 years’ service and an unblemished record. The Claimant gave evidence to say that her and Mr Collins’ working relationship had been good for many years.

The Claimant was successful in her claims of unfair dismissal, pregnancy and maternity discrimination, arrears of wages and holiday pay. In relation to the unfair dismissal claim the tribunal stated “The Respondent dismissed the Claimant without carrying out any disciplinary procedure, without identifying with any particulars of the alleged acts of misconduct, when it had occurred and how the Claimant was responsible for it. The Claimant was not given any opportunity to answer or defend the allegations before she was dismissed.” There was no genuine reason for the dismissal. The tribunal concluded that the unfavourable treatment began when the Claimant was pregnant and trying to assert her maternity rights. They found that Mr Collins had “unnecessarily and repeatedly questioned her intentions” and therefore her claims for pregnancy and maternity discrimination were successful.

For employers this case demonstrates precisely how not to handle these issues. In addition to the points above the Claimant did not have a contract (due to this the Claimant was awarded four weeks’ pay) and the Respondent did not submit a response to the tribunal claim and left the hearing early. It also demonstrates that although a business has one or two employees, they must be aware of their employment law obligations. 

If you have any questions on any of the issues raised in the above article, please contact Natalia Milne.

Not Sure Where To Start?

Find Out More

Are you taking on your first member of staff or wondering if you’re compliant with GDPR, maybe you’re unsure if your HR processes are rigorous enough? Get in touch with Navigator today and see how we can help your organisation.

Call Us Now on: 0333 2400 308

or

Newsletter Subscription

Sign Up to the Navigator Newsletter

Stay informed with the latest changes in employment law, health & safety, HR and data protection including noteworthy cases, upcoming events and other useful articles.

We only use your details to send you our monthly newsletter along with event invitations and other useful articles. You can unsubscribe any time.

Contact Us

Get in Touch

0333 2400 308

enquiries@navigatorlaw.co.uk

Floor 3
1-4 Atholl Crescent
Edinburgh
EH3 8HA

Newsletter Subscription

Sign Up to the Navigator Newsletter

Stay informed with the latest changes in employment law, health & safety, hr and data protection including noteworthy cases, upcoming events and other useful articles.

We only use your details to send you our monthly newsletter along with event invitations and other useful articles. You can unsubscribe any time.

Contact Us

Get in Touch

0333 240 308

enquiries@navigatorlaw.co.uk

Floor 3
1-4 Athol Crecent
Edinburgh
EH3 8HA