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Great grandmother wins unfair dismissal claim after being told her great-grandson deserved “a good slap”

Mrs L-S’s battle against workplace discrimination and wrongful dismissal in the case against Exquisite Displays Limited. Read the emotional journey of balancing work and caregiving responsibilities, leading to a landmark tribunal ruling and substantial compensation

In the case of Mrs L-S v Exquisite Displays Limited a worker, compelled to resign following a company director’s remark that her great-grandson deserved “a good slap,” has been granted over £24,000 in compensation for wrongful dismissal.

After nearly two decades of service, Mrs. L-S, a foster carer for her great-grandson, departed from Exquisite Displays, a jewellery display equipment company, in March 2022 following a tense exchange with director Mr. B, as per the findings of an employment tribunal in Leicester.

In March 2021, Mrs. L-S became the caregiver for her four-year-old great-grandson, X, placed under her care by social services.

During the tribunal, Mrs. L-S expressed immense emotional strain, balancing her work, caring for X, and dealing with legal proceedings involving a family member.

Initially, the organisation supported her, making accommodations such as flexible work hours for school runs and providing a private office for meetings with social services. However, X’s escalating emotional issues affected her work as she juggled calls from school and social services.

Directors grew increasingly frustrated, falling behind on orders due to Mrs. L-S’s absences. In a conversation, one director suggested disciplining X, remarking “she should give X a good slap” or labelling X as simply “naughty”. Mr. B echoed similar sentiments, advising her to “give him a good slap,” citing it as harmless discipline.

The breaking point came on March 10, 2022, when Mrs. L-S arrived late due to a call from X’s school. Mr B’s reaction, exacerbated by their backlog, triggered Mrs. L-S to retort emotionally. Despite attempts to explain, Mr B’s insensitivity led Mrs. L-S to conclude her employer’s lack of support, prompting her resignation.

The tribunal concluded that the directors’ aggressive criticism and presumptions about her caregiving situation undermined Mrs. L-S’ trust and confidence in her employer, constituting unfair dismissal.

In light of these findings, Mrs. L-S was awarded £24,725.35 in compensation.

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