Want to talk to an expert employment law solicitor?

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

In the case of Ms R Martin v Beauty Tonic 64 Beach Rd Limited and Mr Gregory William May Case number 2405471/18, the Employment Tribunal held that an employee had been automatically unfairly dismissed when she was dismissed for being pregnant and discriminated against when her employer failed to conduct a pregnancy risk assessment.

The facts in Ms R Martin v Beauty Tonic 64 Beach Rd Limited and Mr May

The claimant, Ms Martin, started working for the first respondent as a beauty therapist in January 2017.  Mr May, the second respondent, was the Managing Director of the first respondent, Beauty Tonic 64 Beach Rd Limited (“Beauty Tonic”).  In August 2017 the claimant informed the Mr May that she was pregnant and in or around September 2017 the claimant asked him for time off to attend an antenatal appointment.  The claimant was advised to book the day off as holiday or she would not be paid.  She went on to use annual leave for all of her ante natal appointments.  Later on that year, Mrs Moreton-Derain was appointed area manager and her duties included managing the salon where the claimant worked.

In November 2017 the claimant took the day off work for an illness relating to her pregnancy. Mrs Moreton Derain was Facebook friends with the claimant and checked her Facebook status that night and noticed that the claimant’s public entries showed that she had gone shopping with her partner that evening.  Mrs Moreton Derain did not discuss the Facebook post with the claimant.  On 21 November the claimant asked for the day off to attend hospital for blood tests and because she felt tired.  Mrs Moreton-Derain again checked the claimant’s Facebook page and noticed that the claimant had posted of her intention to visit a friend on the 21 November.  This time Mrs Moreton-Derain did ask the claimant about her Facebook post and was told by the claimant that in fact, she had not gone to visit her friend’s salon after all.

Around the same time Mrs Moreton-Derain asked the claimant on numerous occasions whether she intended on leaving her job because of her pregnancy and the claimant became upset with Mrs Moreton-Derain repeatedly asking her about her future intentions.

On 28 November 2017 Mr Campbell, a friend of the claimant’s with HR experience, sent an email to Mrs Moreton-Derain requesting, amongst other things, a copy of the findings from the first respondent’s workplace risk assessment and in particular those relevant to the Pregnant Workers Directive.  Mrs Moreton-Derain replied stating she would provide it as soon as possible, but after discussion with Mr May, a decision was made not to reply to the e-mail.

On 29 November Mrs Moreton-Derain attended the claimant’s place of work with the stated purpose of carrying out the risk assessment.  However, she failed to complete a risk assessment form and she did not discuss with the claimant any concerns she had about working at the salon or with chemical as she was required to do.  She went on to prepare a hand-written note stating the assessment had taken place and asking the claimant to sign it, which she refused to do.

On 30 November for the first time Mr May complained about the claimant’s personal use of the work mobile phone.  On 2nd December Mrs Moreton-Derain and the Mr May attended the salon where the claimant worked and began interrogating her about who Mr Campbell was and made the comments ‘Why are you doing this to us?’ and ‘I thought we were mates’.  At no time during that conversation did Mrs Moreton-Davies or Mr May discuss the claimant’s attendance record, or allegations regarding her conduct or capability.

On 7 December the claimant became aware of the fact that heavy snow was predicted for the following day which would mean she would be unable to attend work.  She advised Mrs Moreton-Davies who told her not to worry and that she would get her shift covered.  The same thing happened the next day and again the claimant contacted Mrs Moreton-Derain and was advised that she would reschedule her appointments.  She did not contact Mrs Moreton-Derain or Mr May on the actual day to confirm her non-attendance.

She then received an e-mail at 12.15pm on the 9 December terminating her employment.  The email stated that her employment was being terminated due to their warning about her absenteeism not being taken seriously.

The law

Section 18 Equality Act 2010 states that a person discriminates against a woman if, in the protected period in relation to a pregnancy, he treats her unfavourably because of her pregnancy or because of illness suffered as a result of the pregnancy.  Section 18 also covers unfavourable treatment of a pregnant employee based on any health and safety concerns of the employee for herself or her unborn child.

Regulation 3(1) of the Management of Health and Safety at Work Regulations 1999/32/42 sets out a general duty on employers to safeguard the health and safety of their employees.  By virtue of regulation 16(1) the employer must include in an assessment under Reg 3(1) an assessment of particular risks to new or expectant mothers and their babies where their work is of a kind which would involve risk to the health and safety of the expectant mother and/or baby from processes or working conditions, or physical, biological or chemical agents.

An employer’s failure to carry out a risk assessment can, in the case of pregnant worked, entitle her to bring a complaint of pregnancy and maternity discrimination under S18 of the Equality Act 2010.

The decision of the Employment Tribunal in Ms R Martin v Beauty Tonic 64 Beach Rd Limited and Mr May

The Employment Tribunal found that the respondent’s witnesses’ evidence was inconsistent as to the real reason for the claimant’s dismissal.  They went on the hold that the reason for the claimant’s dismissal was her pregnancy and that her claim for automatic unfair dismissal under s99 of the Employment Rights Act was well founded.  They also found that the claimant’s claim under s18 of the Equality Act 2010 was well founded.

Our solicitors’ comments on the case

Sacha Barrett, a Senior Associate in the employment department at Redmans, made the following comment on the case: “This case demonstrates the importance of employers making sure they comply with employment legislation designed to protect pregnant employees and their unborn child, regardless of their size or resources”.

The decision of the Employment Tribunal in Ms Martin v Beauty Tonic 64 Beach Rd Limited and Mr May case number 2405471/18 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

4.76 Average

124 Reviews

Brittany

I was very grateful for Redmans to treat my case with respect and discretion. At the time, I was very new to London and it was meaningful to have someone on my side and win the case for me. Without any doubt, I would definitely recommend Redmans Solicitors to anyone who is in need of it.

Posted 2 months ago

Jake L

Chris is very professional and calm. Very attentive and patient, been a positive experience having Chris represent me, and would recommend him.

Posted 3 months ago

Anonymous

Excellent service. It was a pleasure to work with Chris H, who is brilliant at what he does and very efficient. Their Senior Associate Rana T. is also very knowledgeable and resolves any queries speedily and efficiently. My issue could unfortunately not be resolved, but that was due to my employer and not the firm. Redmans however did all they could. I would definitely recommend them.

Posted 3 months ago

Anonymous

Very pleasant and quick to deal with. Mnay thanks.

Posted 3 months ago

Anonymous

Easy to get hold of. Quick.

Posted 3 months ago

Owen J

Very helpful, efficient service.

Posted 3 months ago

Anonymous

I am very lucky that I worked with Mr. Chris Hadrill and he managed my case very progressively with an analytical approach and trustfully. Of course with a very positive result. I strongly recommend Mr. Hadrill to any one seeking for a successful result from a highly qualified solicitor.

Posted 4 months ago

Kulbir S

Amazing, quick friendly service from Chris from the start and Caroline. They made me feel at ease during a difficult time, they understood and advised accordingly and I am really happy with the outcome of my case. Will always advise anyone who needs legal advice to contact Redmans, I’m so glad that I did and can confidently say I don’t think any other firm could have handled my case any better. Well done guys, wish you all the best and please keep doing what your doing, simply the best!

Posted 4 months ago

Mark A

Excellent service - rapid and “to the point” advice given to ensure meeting the target time frame

Posted 4 months ago

Anonymous

Chris Hadrill kept me sane during the negotiations with my employer. He was courteous professional and he cared about doing the best he could for me. I will use Redmans again if ever I need an employment solicitor. Excellent service.

Posted 4 months ago

Muhammad Z

Awesome services. Professionals at their best .

Posted 4 months ago

Anonymous

Thanks for the advice and for negotiating a good outcome. Good to have the support at a very stressful time

Posted 4 months ago

Chloe F

My solicitor at Redmans was very helpful and efficient. Really pleased with the smooth service.

Posted 4 months ago

Anonymous

Chris was absolutely excellent. Clear and concise, offering sound advice.

Posted 4 months ago

Tim O

Experienced and competent advisors

Posted 4 months ago

Rachel A

Quick and expert assistance. I would highly recommend Chris for any of your legal needs.

Posted 4 months ago

Joe S

I was very happy with the service provided by Chris and the team at Redmans Solicitors. I felt very comfortable discussing all matters with Chris and am very grateful for all the help and guidance I was given throughout the whole process. I would definitely recommend Redmans Solicitors to friends and family!

Posted 4 months ago

Anonymous

I had a very good experience working with Chris Hadrill during a difficult and emotional time. This held true from the moment I spoke to him on the phone, to the end of the process. Overall, he was attentive, professional and highly supportive. He provided sound advice and clarity. It was the reviews that led me to Redmans! I was very happy to know they were all true. I highly recommend working with Redmans Solicitors. Thank-you to the entire team!

Posted 4 months ago

Anonymous

Good service

Posted 4 months ago

Anonymous

Excellent professional service. Highly recommend.

Posted 4 months ago

Rob O

Very prompt response and I could not fault the service. My solicitor listened carefully to the details of my case and I felt very confident in the advice I was offered. All emails and work done on my behalf with my former employer was of the highest standard and Redmans helped take a lot of the stress out of the situation for me.

Posted 5 months ago