Nursery worker wins unfair dismissal claim after being sacked while pregnant

Published: 21 March 2022

Makbool Javaid, Partner – Simons Muirhead & Burton

15 March 2022

In the case of D Topping v Stepping Stones Nursery (Hoddlesden) Limited Darci Topping was employed by Stepping Stones Nursery in Hoddlesden when she found out she was expecting her first child in March 2020. She informed her employers a week after starting her new job.

The 23 year old – who was on minimum wage – was then subjected to ‘negative inferences’ about her pregnancy by her managers, was quizzed about the baby’s father and about her intention to go through with the birth. She was also ‘pressured’ into reducing her hours as the Covid-19 pandemic hit and then made redundant out of the blue, the employment tribunal heard.

Tribunal Judge Marion Batten found the nursery to be liable on all counts of detriment on grounds of pregnancy; unfavourable treatment on grounds of pregnancy; and unfair dismissal on the ground of pregnancy.

After the ruling, Miss Topping said: “I’m sorry that it had to get to the point that it got. I do feel like I have got justice and I am relieved that the case is over. It was a very difficult time to get made redundant when you have a child on the way.”

Compensation for unfair dismissal and pregnancy-related discrimination will be decided at a later hearing.

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