Employment

Client wins £180K in sex discrimination case

We’re delighted that our client has received the compensation she deserves after winning a sex discrimination case against her employer. 

28 September 2021

Little girl smiling at mum

Alice Thompson, a sales manager at London-based Manors estate agents, received a sex discrimination pay-out of over £180k after her flexible working request to support childcare commitments following maternity leave was denied.

As recently reported in the Daily Mail, the Independent and Metro, the company had rejected the flexible working request. It claimed that the business “couldn’t afford” the part-time arrangement. It also claimed there would be difficulties re-organising work amongst other employees.

After raising this with her employer and again being denied her right to request flexible working, Mrs Thompson resigned from Manors estate agents.

How did we support?

The panel- consisting of a judge and a number of professionals with different areas of expertise relevant to the case- found that the company’s decision not to support the client’s right to flexible working was a breach of the Equality Act 2010 and concluded that the working hours of 9am to 6pm, when nurseries close at 6pm to align with 9pm to 5pm office hours, put Mrs Thompson at a disadvantage.

Associate solicitor at Slater and Gordon, Karen Murray, supported Mrs Thompson through her workplace discrimination claim- from early stages, through to remedy hearing where compensation was decided.

Mrs Thompson was awarded £184,961.32 for loss of earnings, pension contributions, injury to feelings, and interest.

What this means for pregnant women and working mothers

Research from the UK Government Department of Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS) found that up to 54,000 women each year felt they needed to leave their jobs following pregnancy or maternity discrimination. As a result, legal protections were introduced in July 2019, providing pregnant women and new mothers with the potential of up to two years of legal protection against redundancy or unfair dismissal.

Maternity and pregnancy discrimination charity, Pregnant Then Screwed, supports mothers who’ve experienced sex discrimination either during or after pregnancy. Research on their website shows that a staggering 77% of working mothers have experienced negative or discriminatory treatment at work.

The organisation, which also supported Mrs Thompson up to employment tribunal, notes that the legal process can sometimes be daunting and stressful at a time when many women may perhaps be feeling most vulnerable.

For that reason, it’s important for those experiencing pregnancy discrimination in the workplace, or any form of sex discrimination as a working parent, to reach out to a trusted organisation or legal professional to simplify the process and make the experience as stress-free as possible for themselves and their family.

Mrs Thompson commented that she chose to challenge the treatment in the hopes that her daughter’s generation would have a different experience.

Have you experienced discrimination in the workplace?

No one should have to face discrimination. If you’ve been discriminated against, time is of the essence because you only have three months minus one day from the date of the last discriminatory act in which to commence the early conciliation process with the Advisory, Conciliation and Arbitration Service (ACAS). We can assist both before and during the conciliation process.

For more information, and to find out how our team of experts can support you with pregnancy and maternity discrimination, or any form or discrimination in the workplace, simply call us on 0330 041 5869. Or, if you prefer, you can contact us via our online form or web chat.

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