Want to talk to an expert employment law solicitor?

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

In the case Ms B Djagbo v Women’s Health Dulwich Ltd 2300737/2020 the Employment Tribunal found that a pregnant employee had been discriminated against by her employer when she was told, among other things, that she must attend work unless she had been hit by a car, awarding her almost £20,000 in compensation.

The facts in Ms B Djagbo v Women’s Health Dulwich Ltd

Ms Djagbo commenced employment with Women’s Health Dulwich Ltd (“WMD”) as a medical secretary on 1 October 2018. During the course of her employment she alleged that she was being discriminated against because of her pregnancy, as follows:

  • The way in which her manager, Ms Tezcan had dealt with her following a mistake she had made sending an incorrectly headed email;
  • Derogatory comments Ms Tezcan had made about her pregnancy and the fact that she was aged 25, made to her job-share work colleague Ms Ita and in front of patients;
  • False accusations of theft made against her husband;
  • Comments that she may not come back to work after her maternity leave and that she wanted to be a housewife;
  • A statement that she would ‘sterilise’ her or ‘put a coil in me that would last 10 years;
  • Lack of work breaks;
  • The events over the night of 29/30 November 2019 where Ms Tezcan expected cover in the office from Ms B Djagbo or her job share colleague, Ms Ita and the comments by Ms Tezcan ‘it’s not that you’re having a traffic accident’ and ‘unless you are dying it is not acceptable not to come’ in a conversation in relation to Ms B Djagbo’s pregnancy;
  • Her removal from the Whatsapp chat and website and request to return keys;
  • Lack of communication from that point.

On 9 December 2019 Ms Djagbo lodged a formal grievance setting out the above complaints. WMD failed to promptly investigate the complaint.

On 2 January 2020 Ms Djagbo emailed Ms Tezcan to ask if she had been dismissed; Ms Tezcan replied to say that she was not dismissed, she was on maternity leave.

Later In January 202 Ms Djagbo contacted ACAS as the grievance had not been dealt with.

On 3 December 2020, following a period of pregnancy-related illness lasting a couple of days, Ms Djagbo indicated to WMD she was well enough to return to work but was told not to by Ms Tezcan. Ms Djagbo’s name was then removed from the website and the Whatsapp group chat, asked to return her keys, and left with the impression she would not be coming back to work. Ms Djagbo was also informed that Ms Tezcan would not work with her anymore. She did not return to work after that assuming her employment had been terminated and brought a claim for pregnancy & maternity discrimination in the Employment Tribunal.

The decision of the Employment Tribunal

The Employment Tribunal found in favour of Ms Djagbo in respect of the following claims:

  1. Pregnancy & maternity discrimination (section 18 Equality Act 2010)
  2. Unlawful deduction from wages

Pregnancy & maternity discrimination

The Employment Tribunal held that the following acts & omissions had amounted to pregnancy & maternity discrimination:

  • Ms Tezcan telling Ms Djagbo on 29 November 2019 that she should come to work the following day unless she was dying or had been in a traffic accident;
  • Mr Tezcan telling Ms Djagbo on 2 December 2019 that she need not return to work even though she was fit to do so because cover had been obtained for her; and
  • Ms Tezcan telling Ms Djagbo that from 1 January 2020 her part time role would cease to exist and that she would be expected to return full time

Unlawful deduction from wages

The Employment Tribunal held that Ms Djagbo’s wages had been unlawfully withheld in respect of holiday pay that she was owed.

Remedy

The Employment Tribunal awarded Ms Djagbo the following sums as compensation for the discriminatory acts:

  • Loss of earnings: £3,459.99 (representing three months’ net loss of earnings plus interest)
  • Injury to feelings: £12,000(plus interest of £1,517)
  • ACAS uplift of 10% in respect of the organisation’s failure to deal with the grievance process (£1,773).
  • Unlawful deduction of wages: £288.45.

The total sum awarded to Ms Djagbo amounted to £19,797.76.

Our lawyers’ views on the case of Djagbo v Women’s Health Dulwich Ltd

Chris Hadrill, a solicitor at Redmans, commented on the case: “Employers must ensure that they treat pregnant employees fairly, otherwise they face potential claims for discrimination as in this case. Discrimination claims can be costly and reputationally-damaging, and employers should also take allegations, or claims, of discrimination seriously.”

The decision of the Employment Tribunal in Djagbo v Women’s Health Dulwich Ltd 2300737/2020 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

    Testimonials

    4.80 Average

    320 Reviews

    Anonymous

    Efficient and quick service!

    Posted 2 days ago

    Karen B

    Quick response very helpful Issue raised dealt with very quickly

    Posted 5 days ago

    Carmen T

    Redmans give Great service and advice on reading contracts. They can explain all the solicitors jargon into words that you can understand. I received excellent service an I will use them again and again.

    Posted 1 week ago

    Anonymous

    Very grateful for Mel’s efforts in handling my case from start to finish which I would have found very stressful without it. She was very professional, friendly and we had a positive outcome. Highly recommend.

    Posted 4 weeks ago

    Nalin W

    Mel Chin was my Legal Executive when I engaged the services of Redmans Solicitors to help with a redundancy matter. She was incredibly approachable and professional from start to finish. Specially I have to mention regarding prompt reply to all my email queries, It was super quick. I would thoroughly recommend Mel Chin. Many Thanks

    Posted 1 month ago

    Anonymous

    I'd highly recommend Redmans Solicitors. Mel was very helpful and assisted me throughout my case.

    Posted 1 month ago

    Anonymous

    Sacha was very thorough and very helpful, with great advice on when to act and when to wait on my case.

    Posted 1 month ago

    Anonymous

    I have been very pleased with the support I got from Redmans Solicitors on my case with my employer. Caroline has always helped me to put things in perspective and showed me different scenarios ultimately to help me taking the right decision. She was very professional and always available when I needed, and at the same time also emphatic which I found also really important to establish a strong relationship. Will definitely recommend!

    Posted 1 month ago

    Anonymous

    Prompt and efficient response to my enquiries. Excellent negotiating skills with my employer which considerably improved the terms of my settlement agreement.

    Posted 1 month ago

    Anonymous

    Very quick and professional service , Rana was very helpful

    Posted 1 month ago

    James G

    Very professional, knowledgeable and kept me informed at every stage of my case. I would highly recommend Redmans.

    Posted 2 months ago

    Pravina P

    Chris was really good and help solve my issues with current company. I would recommend him to anyone.

    Posted 2 months ago

    Paul L

    Sacha was extremely helpful in my matter. I would not hesitate you use Sacha or Redmonds again. Everyone was very helpful.

    Posted 2 months ago

    Monique N

    I had Mel Chin helping me with a settlement and she was very professional and reliable throughout my case. Mel provided me with a good understanding of what was happening and gave suggestions on routes I could take. My case was resolved and closed promptly although the opposing side were very difficult to deal with. A very big thank you to Mel and Chris.

    Posted 2 months ago

    Jackie C

    My first ever experience needing the services of a solicitor; cannot speak highly enough of Mel and Chris’s personable, reassuring and straight to the point advice in dealing with my settlement agreement. They put me at ease during an extremely stressful time. I am equally as happy with the outcome, as l am their professional services.

    Posted 2 months ago

    ""

    Really happy with the service. All very efficient. Mel rattled through things very fast, however was great whenever I needed to stop and ask a question! Would definitely return to Redmans if I ever needed Legal advice.

    Posted 2 months ago

    Peter F

    Very helpful and clear advice, would highly recommend.

    Posted 2 months ago

    William A

    Second time I have had to use Redmans. They did not disappoint. They are fast , efficient and friendly. I have already recommended them to friends and colleagues. I hope I dont have to use them again but if I have to , they are the solicitors for me.

    Posted 2 months ago

    Fleeta C

    Great service with tantastic communications. The solicitor responsible is extremely knowledgeable and was responsible for bringing a timely and desired solution.

    Posted 2 months ago

    Veronica M

    Extremely helpful, starting from a request for advice at very short notice, to dedicating time for me to understand and review all documents thoroughly.

    Posted 2 months ago

    Sophie R

    Very efficient and professional service. Chris was very empathetic, knowledgeable and personable. Highly recommended.

    Posted 2 months ago