Want to talk to an expert employment law solicitor?

You'll receive a callback from a specialist within an hour

In the case of Miss M Reeves v The Hannah Corporation Ltd: 3400012/2017 the Employment Tribunal held that an employee had been dismissed because she had notified her employer that she was pregnant (rather than because of a genuine redundancy situation).

The facts in Reeves v The Hannah Corporation Ltd

Ms Reeves commenced employment as a receptionist at The Hannah Corporation Ltd’s (“Hannah Corp”) in its estate agency department on 18 February 2016. In May 2016 the company closed its estate agency business but Ms Reeves received a telephone call from the Human Resources Manager, who informed her that here was a job available in Hannah Corp’s Building and Contents department in its Wellingborough office. She therefore transferred to this role in May 2016.

In June 2016 Mr Young (the departmental manager) informed Ms Reeves that he was happy with her performance in the job.

In July 2016 Ms Reeves discovered that she was pregnant and informed Mr Young and Ms Harrison . On 9 August 2016 she was compelled to attend Kettering General Hospital with a suspected ectopic pregnancy. She took a few hours off work to do this and returned to work after, having been assured that there was nothing astray with her pregnancy.

Ms Reeves returned to work after a couple of days and on 24 August 2016 she was called into a meeting with Mr Young and Ms Harrison. Ms Harrison informed Ms Reeves that there was not enough work available for her and that, as he was in a probationary period in her new role, the business would have to let her go; this was despite Ms Reeves’ three-month probation period actually having concluded in May 2016. A colleague of Ms Reeves’ who was doing the job (a Ms Camp) was kept on. Ms Reeves was asked to leave the office immediately without further explanation.

Later that day Ms Reeves emailed Mr Young to request a letter confirming her dismissal. Ms Harrison subsequently sent her an email confirming that she had been dismissed because the business had not grown as quickly as had been expected and that there wasn’t enough work to accommodate Ms Reeves on a full-time basis.

Ms Reeves subsequently submitted claims to the Employment Tribunal for pregnancy discrimination (section 18 of the Equality Act 2010) and automatic unfair dismissal (section 99 of the Employment Rights Act 1996).

The decision of the Employment Tribunal

The Employment Tribunal upheld Ms Reeves’ claims for pregnancy discrimination and automatic unfair dismissal.

Pregnancy discrimination

The Tribunal accepted Ms Reeves’ evidence and Hannah Corp failed to file a defence to the claim, meaning that there was no opposition to Ms Reeves’ evidence and legal arguments. The Tribunal therefore held that there had not been a genuine redundancy situation and that the true reason for Ms Reeves’ dismissal had been the notification of her pregnancy to the business (and therefore an act of pregnancy discrimination).

Automatic unfair dismissal

The Employment Tribunal held that the sole or principal reason for Ms Reeves’ dismissal was because she was pregnant, upholding her claim for automatic unfair dismissal.

Remedy

The Employment Tribunal awarded Ms Reeves £17,811.78 as compensation for her claims, comprised of the following sums:

  • Past loss of earnings: £9,274.14
  • Future loss of earnings: £2,537.64
  • Injury to feelings: £6,000.00

Our solicitors’ view on Reeves v The Hannah Corporation Ltd

Chris Hadrill, a specialist employment solicitor at Redmans, commented on the case: “Employers must treat employees (as well as workers and contractors) fairly, irrespective of any protected characteristic that any employee may have – a failure to treat employees fairly and equally can, as in this case, lead to a substantial award of compensation.”

The judgment of the Employment Tribunal in Reeves v The Hannah Corporation Ltd can be found here.

About

Redmans Employment Team deal with employment matters for both employers and employees, including drafting employment contracts and policies, advising employers and employees on compromise agreements, handling day-to-day HR issues, advising on restructures, and handling Employment Tribunal cases for both employers and employees Call 020 3397 3603 to speak to one of the members of our employment team or email us on enquiries@redmans.co.uk. Redmans have offices in Richmond, Chiswick, Hammersmith, Fulham, Kingston, Wimbledon, Ealing, Kings Cross and Marylebone (meetings strictly by appointment only).

Want to talk to an expert employment law solicitor?

You'll receive a callback from a specialist within an hour

Share →

Our awards

Request a callback

Your name

Your email

Your telephone number

Contact us

Please feel free to discuss your own position and concerns. Contact your nearest office on:

T: 020 3397 3603
E: enquiries@redmans.co.uk
W: www.redmans.co.uk

Testimonials

4.70 Average

76 Reviews

Margaret

Redmans Solicitors took a lot of the worry away and were very thoughtful and meticulous in their dealings with my case , thank you very mush , great service and a great job

Posted 1 week ago

Mark B

Prompt efficient service. Hourly, and part thereof, billing got a bit stressful at times - as opposed to flat fee - made me think twice about sending an email or making a quick call when I had a query because it would have eaten up minutes from my budget. But happy with the legal service I received overall and would recommend.

Posted 1 week ago

Anonymous

Chris Hadrill has provided a truly wonderful service and was willing to lend his support and expertise at a time when other solicitors, only wanted to discuss their fees! A clear thinking and down to earth professional, Chris can be trusted to listen carefully to your matter, cut through the fog, and advise you on the best (and most realistic) way forward, saving you time, money and heartache. It will be helpful if you first get your ducks in a row in terms of documents / evidence etc. and then contact Chris, (that’s what we did) as this will help your matter to be dealt with faster. The more organised and together you are the more successful you will be. You'll be fine with Chris, I highly recommend him. Good luck!

Posted 2 weeks ago

Richard v

Excellent Service

Posted 3 weeks ago

Anonymous

Very happy from service received. Highly recommend

Posted 3 weeks ago

Colin W

Very professional and thorough. Sachs who dealt with the bulk of my case was excellent Thank you. .

Posted 3 weeks ago

Anonymous

I was generally impressed with the fast turn around, efficiency, responsiveness, and consideration of circumstances. I needed a couple of areas of advice quickly and with Redmans help was able to get to a conclusion quickly and with minimum stress. They were friendly and professional throughout - I'd use them again.

Posted 4 weeks ago

Anonymous

The guidance and assistance I recently received when using Redman's was fantastic. Caroline & Chris were both very informative and understanding walking me through each step. Thank you.

Posted 1 month ago

Nicola W

Fantastic service, very quick and efficient. Thank you

Posted 1 month ago

Anonymous

Excellent professional service.

Posted 1 month ago

Anonymous

As with All solicitors advice without consequence but understood and communicated my legal position

Posted 2 months ago

Anonymous

Prompt, professional and excellent service.

Posted 2 months ago

Dominic C

Excellent service, prompt and helpful

Posted 2 months ago

Anonymous

I found Redman’s to be very efficient and got me the best deal available in the short time scale that was available.

Posted 2 months ago

Victor L

Very professional. Provided excellent advice on my Settlement agreement.

Posted 2 months ago

Anonymous

Professional from start to finish.

Posted 2 months ago

Oliver W

Excellent service provided by Redmans, will certainly consider using again.

Posted 2 months ago

Melanie H

Very professional and extremely personable service. Thank you very much.

Posted 2 months ago

Anonymous

I found Chris to be very approachable and easy to speak with about complex matters. He took action quickly and his updates to me, as his client, were prompt. I would recommend Chris and the team at Redmans without hesitation.

Posted 2 months ago

Anonymous

Good advice

Posted 2 months ago

Anonymous

Overall happy with the service provided by Chris and Rana.

Posted 2 months ago