In the case of Ms M Walworth v Scrivens Ltd: 1301685/2017 the Employment Tribunal awarded a claimant over £11,000 in compensation for loss of earnings and injury to feelings after finding that she had been subjected to discrimination.
The facts in Walworth v Scrivens Ltd
Ms Walworth worked for Scrivens Ltdl the company implemented a policy that if an employee left their employment within a particular period of time then they would have to repay a proportion of their training costs incurred.
In August 2015 Ms Walworth informed Scrivens Ltd that she was pregnant and that she would go on maternity leave in April 2016. Human Resources wrote to Ms Walworth on 11 January 2016 to confirm that she was going on maternity leave and that the training repayment period under her training agreement would be ‘paused’ for her period of maternity leave.
Whilst Ms Walworth was on maternity leave she informed Human Resources that she may not return to work from maternity leave; a letter was subsequently sent to Ms Walworth confirming that if she did leave her job then she would have to give twelve weeks’ notice of termination and that she would have to repay the entirety of her training costs.
Ms Scrivens subsequently wrote to Scrivens Ltd to complain that she was submitting her notice of termination and that she believed that the effect of the ‘pause clause’ was discriminatory.
Ms Walworth subsequently brought a claim for constructive dismissal and pregnancy maternity discrimination (among other claims). The Employment Tribunal upheld her claims for discrimination (section 18 Equality Act 2010) and constructive dismissal.
Our analysis of the liability judgment in Walworth v Scrivens Ltd can be found here.
The Employment Tribunal’s purpose at this hearing was to consider what remedy Ms Walworth was entitled to.
The decision of the Employment Tribunal
In the remedy judgment the Employment Tribunal held that Ms Walworth should be awarded the following compensation:
- A basic award of £2,615.36 (in respect of the claim for unfair dismissal)
- Financial losses: £4,148.50
- Compensation for injury to feelings: £4,374.36 (inclusive of interest)
- Unpaid holiday pay: £325.59 (inclusive of interest)
Our solicitors’ view on Walworth v Scrivens Ltd
Rana Tandon, a specialist employment solicitor at Redmans, commented on the case: “Employers must ensure that they implement policies in a manner which does not result in any particular disadvantage being imposed to any particular group of persons, otherwise they may face a potential claim for discrimination in the Employment Tribunal.”
The remedy judgment of the Employment Tribunal in Walworth v Scrivens Ltd can be found here.