An employee at logistics firm Pall-Ex who was called a “baby farmer” by her finance director following her return to work from maternity leave was unfairly dismissed, a Leister employment tribunal found.
Miss L Hayman faced direct sex discrimination and harassment based on protected characteristics on specific occasions in her work. The tribunal heard how Ms Hayman was shouted at and dealt with “bullying behaviour” from her line manager, Mr Tancock, with one incident leaving Ms Hayman in tears in the work toilets.
However, a number of separate sexual discrimination claims by Ms Hayman were dismissed by the tribunal because they were made out of time, dating back to 2011.
In November 2013, the claimant was asked for an update on the finances relating to a specific client when she was allegedly told by her finance director, David Gannon that “nothing has happened since you’ve been busy being a baby farmer.”
The judges concluded the “baby farmer” comment constituted unfavourable treatment, and that the bullying behaviour Ms Hayman had faced were a breach of implied terms of trust and confidence in the claimant’s contract.
On her return to work, Ms Hayman explained to the tribunal that she began noticing her manager making references to her parental duties, sending an email in March 2017 saying: “Can you tell me when you get a moment in between nappy changing?”
Alongside a number of other incidents - including Tancock shouting at Ms Hayman, being harassed with phone calls while sick, and the head of sales and Tancock making jokes at the expense of Ms Hayman - the judges ruled the behaviour “clearly constitutes conduct which is calculated or likely to damage or destroy trust and confidence”.
If you have been unfairly dismissed or endured discrimination at your place of work, get in touch with one of our qualified employment lawyers for specialist legal advice and representation. Contact us today via the online enquiry form.
It would not be an exaggeration to say that I was extremely pessimistic about being able to get a decent redundancy settlement. I was feeling really low and depressed. That all changed when Caroline Walker agreed to act for me.She secured an excellent settlement for me, without me having to face the expense and stress of going to court...
"I cannot recommend you highly enough. A law firm that really delivers all it promises. I never thought I would say that I found the costs reasonable, but I did, and I will never get over how much you secured for me in a totally unexpected settlement. It has set me up for the next chapter in my life. Thank you, thank you."
"I would like to thank you for your exceptional service. You and your firm Cavendish Employment Law have been brilliant in your responsiveness and legal advice. We have had numerous time sensitive and complex issues. You always delivered for our company in spite of very challenging timelines. I highly recommend you and your firm."
"I cannot recommend Caroline more highly. Any client of hers is really fortunate to have her on their side. She is a credit to her profession and I am most grateful to her."