26 June 2009
Woman secures compensation after suffering sex discrimination
A woman who was a victim of sex discrimination at work has been successful in her claims of sex discrimination.
Gillian Williams was employed by Airlink Management Services - a firm which was founded in 1994 and specialises in developing, managing and investing in commercial property - until March last year.
The 31-year-old was pregnant and had drafted a letter to inform her employer about her circumstances.
However, she was off sick for a few days before she could hand the letter over.
When she reported for work on March 25th, she was called into a meeting and was told her position was being made redundant.
Ms Williams suspected that she had been laid off as a result of her pregnancy and called the firm under the guise of someone else and asked to speak to herself.
When she was told that Ms Williams no longer worked for the organisation, she asked if she could speak to her replacement, who subsequently picked up the phone.
During a recent tribunal, employment judge Lucy Wiseman said the firm knew she was pregnant and decided to dismiss her for that reason.
Ms Williams has since been awarded compensation.
Employment lawyer Emma Hawksworth of Russell Jones & Walker commented: "In our experience it is becoming increasingly common, unfortunately, for employers to target pregnant employees and those on maternity leave for dismissal.
"This case sends a clear warning to employers that using redundancy as an excuse will not work and dismissing for pregnancy or maternity related reasons is unlawful.
"The case is unusual though, because rather than take the case to a hearing, many employers in this situation will chose to reach an out of court settlement with the employee."