In the case of Miss AP Read v Aftala Norfolk Ltd T/a Papa John’s Pizza and Whitestone Norwich Ltd T/a Papa John’s Pizza: 3400414/2017 the Employment Tribunal held that the dismissal of a pregnant employee had been discriminatory awarding her almost £13,000 in compensation.
The facts in Miss AP Read v Aftala Norfolk Ltd T/a Papa John’s Pizza and Whitestone Norwich Ltd T/a Papa John’s Pizza
Ms Read commenced employment with Papa John’s Pizza in September 2015 as a kitchen assistant. There was no contract of employment provided to her. She worked variable hours of between 9 hours per week and 24 per hours week.
Ms Read received no warnings during the course of her employment for any reason. On 21 November 2016 Ms Read received confirmation from her GP that she was pregnant, and she then notified Mr Shaw (her line manager) and other members of staff on that day or shortly after.
In December 2016 Ms Read was absent on 2, 5 and 17 December 2016 due to sickness. On 1 January 2017 she was rostered to work but failed to attend, and was dismissed following a discussion between Mr Anjum (the owner of the business) and Mr Shaw.
Ms Read subsequently made claims in the Employment Tribunal for pregnancy and maternity discrimination and unlawful deduction, among others.
The decision of the Employment Tribunal
The Employment Tribunal upheld Ms Read’s claims for pregnancy and maternity discrimination and unlawful deductions from wages.
Pregnancy and maternity discrimination
The Employment Tribunal held that the following conduct was unfavourable treatment, and that she had been subjected to this unfavourable treatment because of her pregnancy:
- Her dismissal
- The failure to carry out a risk assessment after being notified that she was pregnant
Unlawful deduction from wages
The Employment Tribunal held that Ms Read’s employer had failed to pay her the correct National Minimum Wage and had failed to pay her accrued but untaken holiday pay.
The Employment Tribunal awarded Ms Read the following sums:
- Underpayment of the National Minimum Wage: £487.36
- Loss of earnings: £2,087.25
- Statutory Maternity Pay: £3,183.57
- Injury to feelings: £6,600
Our solicitors’ view on Miss AP Read v Aftala Norfolk Ltd T/a Papa John’s Pizza and Whitestone Norwich Ltd T/a Papa John’s Pizza
Chris Hadrill, partner in the employment department at Redmans, commented on the case: “”Employers must ensure that pregnant members of staff are treated fairly and that they are not subjected to any detriment because of their pregnancy or period of maternity leave – a failure to ensure fair treatment could potentially result in costly, and potentially embarrassing, Employment Tribunal proceedings.”
The judgment of the Employment Tribunal in Miss AP Read v Aftala Norfolk Ltd T/a Papa John’s Pizza and Whitestone Norwich Ltd T/a Papa John’s Pizza can be found here.