The Equal Opportunities Commission (EOC) has announced its support for working mother Katharina Tofeji in her bid to overturn an employment tribunal's decision.
Katharina Tofeji, who is being represented by employment lawyer Samantha Mangwana from Russell Jones & Walker, had worked for investment bank BNP Paribas for over five years as a senior sales director, however, she claims she experienced "far-ranging problems" upon returning from a period of maternity leave.
She argues that, following her leave, she was placed in a vulnerable position and at a considerable disadvantage.
For example, she was not given back the clients she had built up during her time with the firm, but rather was informed that she would have to justify their return.
The EOC is set to fund Ms Tofeji's appeal to clarify the legal rights of women re-entering the workplace after maternity leave.
Chair of the commission Jenny Watson commented: "We know from our research that many women experience discrimination upon return from maternity leave and suffer considerable stress and hardship as a result."
The EOC deals with sex discrimination and gender inequality, including good practice in the fair and equal treatment of men and women.