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A New Mum wins £35,000 payout

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A judge has awarded a mother from Castlemilk more than £35,000 at an employment tribunal after the company employing her cut her hours by more than half after she fell pregnant.

Pauline Rodgers, a mother of three, had held a position as a supervisor at the care firm, Appropriate Services.

However, soon after it became apparent that she was pregnant, the owners of the firm decided to cut her weekly hours from a standard 35 to just 14.

Ms. Rodger initially did not accept the terms of her new contract but continued working at the firm under protest when her new working conditions came into force last April. The changes meant that Ms. Rodger was out of pocket by hundreds of pounds per month, a significant reduction in her monthly take-home pay.

Problems began for Ms. Rodger in the summer of 2018 as she saw more than £800 docked from her pay after going on maternity leave. The company refused to pay any benefits to her after giving birth to her baby daughter, and she received nothing from Appropriate Services during her maternity leave.

It was a terrifying time for the new mother. She was pregnant and panicking about how she was going to be able to afford to stay in her home. Eventually, she lost the house and had to move in with a friend after the company refused to keep her payments up.

The problems started for Ms. Rodger in February 2018 after she emailed the husband of the owner of the company, Frederick Rodgers, to tell him that she was pregnant. The next day, the company owner Mrs. Suad Abdullah told Rodger that her hours were being cut from 35 to 14.

Ms. Rodger appealed the decision of the company but began her 14-hour work pattern under protest.

Ms. Rodger took the case to a tribunal to try to win damages against the care company on the grounds of maternity discrimination and victimisation. The judge decided that the care company had acted unlawfully and was guilty of discriminating against Rodger on account of her maternity.

The company claimed that the reason for the cut in Ms. Rodger’s hours was because the firm was not doing well financially. However, judge Claire McManus did not see it this way. Her opinion was that Appropriate Services had acted unlawfully and awarded Ms. Rodger compensation on two accounts: £10,000 for maternity discrimination and a further £25,000 for victimisation.

Unfortunately, because the company is due to be struck off the companies register, it appears unlikely that Ms. Rodger will see any of the compensation owed to her.

Ms. Rodger began working at the firm in November 2017. However, within a few months of the start of her employment, she had fallen pregnant. She had to give up her home in July, despite needing income to support her children and the new arrival. The judge claimed that there was evidence to suggest that, had the claimant not been pregnant, it was unlikely that her hours would have been reduced.

About The Author.

James Rowland

James Rowland

James is the Commercial Director at Neathouse Partners. He is responsible for all Account Management, Sales & Marketing within the company. Having gained a BSc in Psychology and further study for his post-grad Law degree, James embarked on his legal career in 2014. Since then, he has become an Associate Director at a national Employment Law boutique, studied for a Masters in Marketing, and as of 2018, been a Director at Neathouse Partners. Outside of the office, James is a keen cricketer, playing very badly (he calls himself a Batsman but averages single figures) in the Cheshire League for Nantwich CC. He also loves watching his childhood football team, Crewe Alexandra, and is an avid lover of cinema (his favourite film being Pulp Fiction). Feel free to connect with James on LinkedIn.

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