RSS Feed

Legal Updates

More Articles: Latest Popular Archives

Estate agent denied early finish after maternity leave wins discrimination case

Makbool Javaid, Partner - Simons Muirhead & Burton

In Thompson v Scancrown Ltd, trading as Manors, Alice Thompson worked for Manors estate agents, based in Marylebone, London. The company had around 10 employees and catered to wealthy clients from overseas, particularly in the Middle East.

Ms Thompson was employed as a sales manager and two years after first being recruited she was praised by her boss Paul Sellar, who told her “thanks to you, the office is doing well”.

Upon looking to return to work after maternity leave, Thompson had asked if she could finish work an hour earlier at 5 p.m. and work four days a week, instead of five, to accommodate for her daughter’s childcare arrangements.

Thompson resigned after her boss refused the request. Thompson struggled to find work after the U.K. went into coronavirus lockdown in March 2020, due to its effect on the property market.

Thompson said her request for flexible working wasn’t “seriously considered” and that she would have been happy to hear a counter-offer from her employer. Instead, she said her request was “shut down at every avenue, not listened to, not considered and I was left with no other option but to resign because I couldn’t make it work.”

The employment tribunal ordered Manors to pay Thompson £184,961 as “compensation for indirect discrimination because of sex.”

Receive more HR related news and content with our monthly Enewsletter (Ebrief)