September 2017. Client: ENEI (Employers Network for Equality and Inclusion)
ENEI held a mock tribunal (dismissal of a new mum) based on a real case whereby both sides believed they had done nothing wrong.
It is unlawful to discriminate or treat an employee unfavourably because of their pregnancy (Equality Act 2010 – not an easy 240 page read). Poor performance, where a person falls short of the required standard at work, can lead to fair dismissal on the grounds of competence. But if the poor performer has just returned from maternity leave, and has reduced her hours, it’s not easy to see who’s right.
The audience voted in favour of the dismissed new mum but in the actual case the verdict came down in favour of the employer.