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HR trainer wins unfair dismissal claim after being sacked while on maternity leave

Makbool Javaid, Partner - Simons Muirhead & Burton

In the case of Mrs A Rodin v Dhillons Management Services Limited, Mrs Rodin provided training services to a company that managed HR activities over a number of franchise operations, including Dominos Pizza, Costa Coffee and others. Mrs Rodin earned £25,000 per annum. She stated that she had worked on the Domino’s Pizza contract for 16 years and latterly was employed by Dhillons Management Services from May 2016.

Mrs Rodin became pregnant and went on maternity leave. She told the tribunal that her statutory maternity pay was late so she contacted the Regional Manager and he told her that he would investigate and get back to her. After not hearing from him for 2 days she then called him and he told her to contact the Managing Director. Mrs Rodin then contacted Mr Gurjeet Dhillon. After three days he told her that the company had ‘closed’ and her last two months of statutory maternity pay would be sent to her bank account. Mrs Rodin also told the Tribunal that he advised her to go to the job centre for any ‘future money’ as the Company was now closed.

Mrs Rodin attended the job centre to be told that they were unable to assist as she was already on maternity leave and the company should pay her. After going to the job centre and discovering that they could not assist her with a claim for the rest of her maternity pay, she reverted back to Mr Dhillon. Although Mr Dhillon told her that he would look into the matter, he failed to respond to any of her subsequent calls or emails.

She was dismissed without notice. The tribunal heard Ms Rodin suffered from depression and wasn’t able to produce enough milk to feed her baby due to the stress caused. She was awarded £41,191.

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