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 G Anderson v Spar Duntocher: 4105236/2016 the Employment Tribunal held that Ms Anderson had been dismissed from her job because of her pregnancy, and ordered Spar Duntocher to pay her over £12,000 in compensation.

The facts in Anderson v Spar Duntocher

Spar Duntocher is a grocery store operating in Duntocher. The business is owned jointly by Arshad Sadiq and Amjid Sadiq.

Ms Anderson commenced employment with Spar Duntocher on 10 April 2016 as a sales assistant. She worked shifts at the business and her general arrangement was that she would work the early shift on Saturdays and Sundays (7am to 3pm), and a late shift on a Tuesday (3pm to 10pm). She generally worked 20 hours per week, although there were some exceptions to this.

In April 2016 Ms Anderson fell pregnant but she did not discover this until 14 May 2016. She was sick on this day and did not attend work (due to this); she attended work the next day but was sent home because she looked so ill. Ms Anderson next attended work on Tuesday 17 May 2016; by this time she had discovered she was pregnant and informed Arshad Sadiq that she was pregnant.

Ms Anderson had an accident at work in mid-June 2016 and was off work until 21 June 2016. On 31 July 2016 she suffered severe pelvic pain; she was due to work that day but was advised by the Maternity Support Unit at the hospital not to attend work. She informed Mr Johal at approx 12pm that day that she would be unable to attend work due to severe pelvic and stomach pain.

Ms Anderson subsequently received a copy of the rota for the next week’s work which indicated that she was not scheduled to have a shift. She therefore telephoned the shop to ask why, and the telephone was answered by Arshad Sadiq. He asked her what had happened with her previous shift and she explained that she had suffered pelvic pain and had contacted the Maternity Assessment Unit. Ms Anderson covertly recorded this meeting as she suspected her job might be at risk.

In the meeting Mr Sadiq informed her that her absences were an inconvenience to him and that he was going to have to let Ms Anderson go, as it was probably best for her and for the shop too. He stated that it was nothing personal to her, and that she was a nice girl. He explained that he was find her absences hard, as when she was absent from work the manager became annoyed and complained to him. He stated that he feared that her absences would become more frequent and that he didn’t have a big pool of staff, so was unable to cover absences. He further stated that she shouldn’t look for work until the baby was born and that he would re-employ her once the baby is born.

On 2 August 2016 Ms Anderson texted Mr Sadiq to ask him for a letter confirming her dismissal, and on 3 August 2016 Mr Sadiq sent her a letter confirming that she had been dismissed because she was “unreliable”. She appealed her dismissal but her appeal was rejected.

Ms Anderson subsequently brought an Employment Tribunal claim for pregnancy and maternity discrimination.

The decision of the Employment Tribunal in Anderson v Spar Duntocher

The Employment Tribunal upheld Ms Anderson’s claim for pregnancy and maternity discrimination (section 18 Equality Act 2010), finding that she was dismissed because of her pregnancy and/or pregnancy-related illness.

Our guide to the law on pregnancy and maternity discrimination can be found here.

In making its findings the Tribunal had to make key findings as to credibility, as Spar Duntocher was alleging that Ms Anderson was persistently off work sick and, on her part, Ms Anderson was stating that the number of sickness-related absences were exaggerated. The Tribunal found Ms Anderson to be a more credible witness in the circumstances.

The Tribunal found that Ms Anderson had proven facts from which an inference could be drawn that she had been dismissed because of pregnancy and/or pregnancy-related illness, and found that Spar Duntocher could not show there was a reasonable alternative explanation for her dismissal. The Tribunal also found that she had not been paid in respect of holiday she had accrued but not taken to the termination date.

The Employment Tribunal awarded Ms Anderson compensation of £12,191.20, comprised of the following sums:

  • Loss of earnings: £4,991
  • Injury to feelings: £5,000
  • ACAS uplift: £1,998.20
  • Holiday pay: £202.30

Our solicitors’ view on Anderson v Spar Duntocher

Chris Hadrill, a specialist employment solicitor at Redmans, commented on the case: “The covert recording in this case, as well as Ms Anderson’s credibility, were key – if employees believe that they are being discriminated against by their employer then they should consider making recordings of any face-to-face meetings or telephone meetings so that a contemporaneous record of what happened is made. This isn’t always appropriate but can, in the right circumstances, be absolutely key.”

The judgment of the Employment Tribunal 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 first name (required)

    Your last name (required)

    Your email (required)

    Your telephone number (required)

    Brief details of your enquiry

    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

    4.78 Average

    262 Reviews

    Anonymous

    I found the advice I was given by Redmans Solicitors to be clear and useful and found the solicitor on my case to be both knowledgeable and approachable.

    Posted 1 day ago

    Karen T

    Great service. Thank you.

    Posted 3 days ago

    Anonymous

    Excellent service from Chris & Mel Chin. The best outcome was achieved from the redundancy process. They were extremely thorough, listened carefully and acted swiftly on my behalf. I highly recommend Redmans Solicitors

    Posted 4 days ago

    Shanine M

    Excellent service, thank you so much!

    Posted 5 days ago

    Anonymous

    I found Caroline and Chris very Helpful and provided excellent service. Caroline especially provided great legal advice and made me feel at ease with the whole process. I would highly recommend them. Thank you!

    Posted 5 days ago

    Gayle B

    Excellent company very professional would definitely recommend

    Posted 6 days ago

    Alex K

    Redmans provided an excellent service, timely and effective. Will definitely recommend.

    Posted 1 week ago

    Anonymous

    Great job done on my employment law

    Posted 1 week ago

    Dominica S

    Caroline & Chris were very prompt and efficient.Very happy with the service and will definitely recommend Redmans Solicitor to everyone !

    Posted 1 week ago

    Sandra K

    If you are looking for a group of solicitors who are Professional, Caring and on point, then look no futher than Redmans. I was literally hand held through out my case. Can not find fault with this company, very happy with the result and the service i received. Would highly recommend Redmans.

    Posted 1 week ago

    Anonymous

    I found dealing with Redmans a pleasure. I got to speak to someone quickly, the advice was profferred promplty and the service was not 'pushy'. In addition, the administration was excellent. What more could you ask for?

    Posted 1 week ago

    ALISDAIR L

    Redmans did a brilliant job regarding my redundancy agreement. I miss read an extra charge which wasnt the case so doing a new review to clarify. I would recommend Redmans for any employment law issues you may have.

    Posted 1 week ago

    Christos G

    Great legal advice and quick correspondence. Very supportive and helpful through the entire process. Thank you Redmans!

    Posted 1 week ago

    Anonymous

    Chris Hadrill advised me on a redundancy settlement agreement. He was very responsive, easy to deal with and gave me good advice at a stressful time.

    Posted 1 week ago

    Zara M

    Rana at Redmans gave me support and confidence I needed to ensure a wrong, was put right. I couldn’t recommend enough.

    Posted 1 week ago

    Stuart T

    Chris provided an excellent service, he was efficient and friendly and I had no doubt when recommending him to my colleagues

    Posted 1 week ago

    Anonymous

    Excellent service, prompt responses. Chris Hadrill provided excellent and efficient service.

    Posted 1 week ago

    Jane M

    Wonderful solicitors who really listen to you and who are there to offer expert legal advice but they also have a personal touch and you really feel supported both from a legal aspect but also from a personal aspect. They really listen .

    Posted 2 weeks ago

    Anonymous

    They dealt with my case professional and swiftly. The advise was helpful and enabled me to make the right decisions in my case.

    Posted 2 weeks ago

    Anonymous

    I have received a great legal advice from Redmans on a very short notice. I’d highly recommend them.

    Posted 2 weeks ago

    Michael D

    Excellent, efficient advice - the whole matter was concluded with minimum fuss and an excellent outcome.

    Posted 2 weeks ago