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 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

4.76 Average

204 Reviews

Anonymous

Excellent advice and customer service.

Posted 4 weeks ago

Aneet G

I would definitely recommend Redmans. Very impressed with service provided. They were extremely proactive in handling my case which made things easier for me. Provided sound advice and resolution. Special credit for this goes to Chris who dealt with my case with great determination and consideration.

Posted 1 month ago

Fern M

Very efficient and friendly

Posted 1 month ago

Neville S

A professional and friendly service, which I would highly recommend.

Posted 1 month ago

Daniel T

Extremely helpful and made a bad situation much more manageable. Where other solicitors seemed disinterested in my situation Redmans immediately made me feel like it was a team effort to achieve a more favourable outcome

Posted 1 month ago

Paul T

Excellent, quick and informative. Chris was a real star and gave me confidence during the uncertainty if a redundancy settlement.

Posted 1 month ago

Marina E

Felt in very capable hands was listened to and given excellent advice. Would not hesitate to recomend and use again if needed.

Posted 1 month ago

Rosa B

Fabulous service all round.

Posted 1 month ago

Anonymous

Redmans were quick to respond to my enquiry and dealt with my case professionally and personably. I received sound advice and was put at ease by Chris Hadrill, Partner.

Posted 1 month ago

Alkhas K

Excellent service.

Posted 1 month ago

Mathias G

Contacted them regarding my end of employment agreement. Chris Hadrill dealt with it and was done and handed back to employer same day more than happy with there service.

Posted 2 months ago

Mark W

Most professional from start to finish offering very a personal service. Most impressive and quick when dealing with the matters in hand.

Posted 3 months ago

Anonymous

Posted 3 months ago

submit

I am very glad I came across Redmans Solicitors. Fantastic service!

Posted 3 months ago

Anonymous

Fantastic communication, always happy to answer queries, highly recommended.

Posted 3 months ago

Wavenie B

They were very straight to the point, friendly and understanding people. I felt they had my best interest. They were easy to get hold of, replies were almost instant. 5/5 for customer service

Posted 3 months ago

Christina P

Caroline was fantastic to work with - extremely knowledgeable, supportive, thorough and honest. I definitely recommend Redmans!

Posted 3 months ago

Anonymous

Very well done and fast support. Professional and reliable. Highly recommended!

Posted 3 months ago

Helene L

They were very knowledgable in the respected area in terms of change in law/regulations that is crucial for the clients who are seeking for legal arvice.

Posted 3 months ago

Sara R

Very helpful and wonderful advice

Posted 3 months ago

Marie D

very good service all digitalised

Posted 3 months ago