Advice firm to pay employee £15k over maternity treatment

'A series of criticisms'

The day after this meeting, King was sent an email by Dodds, seen by the tribunal, reminding her of her working hours, specifically instructing her when to take her lunch break.

She was told by Dodds to “please ensure you leave on time (1pm) and return by 2pm”.

The tribunal said this was an email sent to King “without any apparent previous difficulty with regard to her timekeeping”, and that what followed were “a series of criticisms” by Dodds to King regarding her standard of work.

These included, according to the tribunal, accusations regarding emails not being sent, and “being shouted at” on various occasions - all of which had not happened prior to her pregnancy. 

“On one such occasion the claimant was so upset she had to leave a group video call and went to the toilet in tears,” the tribunal said.

When King and Dodds met on January 30, 2019, to discuss her 2019 holiday entitlement before she went on maternity leave, Dodds agreed but allegedly referred to her request as “cheeky”.

“That was, we consider, an inappropriate comment and was aggravated by the fact that it was the claimant’s last day at work before she took the period of holiday and subsequently went on maternity leave,” said the tribunal.

'Deterioration in health'

In February, King questioned non-payment of her maternity pay and “had to make a number of requests to rectify the shortfalls”, according to the tribunal, which Dodds and his company “largely ignored”.

In the tribunal’s remedy statement, the judge surmised that King was “undoubtedly not only upset by the events but became stressed” to the extent she was prescribed medication for anxiety and stress. 

“At a time when she ought to have been looking forward to the birth of her child she had to deal with the events described in our judgement and a subsequent deterioration in her health,” the tribunal said.

Dodds and his company were instructed to pay King £15,009.84 on the basis of compensation for ‘Injury to Feelings’, and £83.00 under her claim of a breach in contract/unlawful deduction of wages.