Redundancy for New Mothers on the Rise?

Guest Post


A new survey carried out by research company OnePoll suggests that pregnant women and new mothers could be being discriminated against by employers looking to lay off staff.

One thousand women were questioned as part of the research, and their answers reveal a problem that appears to be escalating. Pre-recession, it was estimated that 30,000 women per year were losing their job unfairly as a direct result of their pregnancy. It is thought that this figure is likely to be much higher now.

The responses revealed that:

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Equal Pay Podcast: More Thoughts on Abdulla

I recently recorded a podcast with Alex Wilson-Campbell,  Manager of a company that specialises in CV Writing Services,  on the Birmingham City Council v Abdulla  equal pay case.  I wrote about it previously here.

In the podcast we talk about the Abdulla case and what it might mean for equal pay disputes in this country.  We also discuss some of the wider issues surrounding gender pay inequality.  You can listen to it by clicking here.






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The Floodgates Will Shortly Open

Will we now see a flood of equal pay claims?

On Wednesday the Supreme Court gave its Judgment in the case of Birmingham City Council v Abdulla [2012] UKSC 47 SC.  The appeal was concerned with applicable time limits for issuing equal pay claims.

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If you’ve got learning disabilities, chronic illness, are young or gay, you’re more likely to be the victim of workplace bullying, according to a four year long survey of 4,000 people conducted by the Universities of Plymouth and Cardiff. The survey was reported in People Management Magazine Online yesterday.

The figures are fairly startling, even though those most likely to be targeted aren’t that surprising.  Clearly behaviour learned in the playground runs deep.  The survey reported that 47% of UK workers faced unreasonable treatment, which included being subjected to an unreasonable workload, having their views ignored and “employers not following proper procedures”.

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Men Behaving Badly

In case it were needed, the Daily Telegraph today reported on a case where “laddish” behaviour in the workplace led to a substantial payout for the female Claimant, Miss Angelina Ashby, which included £15,000 for injury to feelings and £9,158 for loss of earnings.  Read the article for the details, but this case should serve as a reminder that this sort of behaviour just isn’t acceptable in the workplace.

Male workers made unpleasant jibes about her weight and appearance and viewed pornography online.  When she issued a grievance she was criticised for being too sensitive and “unmanageable”.  She won her claim for sex discrimination and constructive dismissal against her employers. There are no great surprises there.

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How do you achieve pay equality in the workplace between the genders?  David Cameron said in Parliament the other day that having more women in the boardroom would have a beneficial effect  – on what is not clear but I’m sure he’s right.  He was questioned in relation to excessive pay awards and bonuses to senior executives and I can’t see that women should be any less greedy than men, taken as a whole.  But perhaps his point was wider than that.

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Barrack Room Lawyers Beware



You’ve probably heard some barrack room lawyer saying “they can’t touch me, I’ve put all the assets in my wife’s name” or “they can do what they want, I’m a limited company.”  In this case “they” is usually a spouse or a creditor.  In the case of Bungay and Paul v Chandel & Ors (UKEAT/0331/10) “they” was actually a Claimant in proceedings before an ET.

Bungay and Paul were directors in the company. They were found by the ET to have conducted a campaign of discriminatory action against Mr Chandel which were intended to get him removed from his post. Even after Mr Chandel’s dismissal, the two directors continued to make unfounded and malicious complaints to the police.

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Should the Government Cap Discrimination Awards?

The Independent reported yesterday that an “influential” group of City figures was urging the government to restrict compensation payments in discrimination cases to £50,000.  Currently such awards are unlimited in size, unlike in unfair dismissal cases where the compensatory award is (currently) capped at £68,400.  I have never understood the rationale behind one being restricted and not the other: why should unfair dismissal awards be capped and not those in discrimination cases? Or, conversely why shouldn’t unfair dismissal awards be uncapped?

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There was  a lot of coverage last week in the media on the outcome of the case of Hall & Preddy v Bull & Bull involving the clash of religious beliefs and gay rights.  It wasn’t an employment case but a dispute over discrimination (against a homosexual couple) in service provision, in this case Mr & Mrs Bull, a devout Christian couple who ran a B&B and refused to allow Mr Hall and Mr Preddy to stay in their B&B because it offended their religious beliefs.

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The Equality Act 2010: Law Society Seeks Urgent Consultation

The EA has been in force for roughly one month and it is already experiencing some turbulence.  Not from Duncan Bannatyne’s rantings in the Daily Mail but from the effect of some sloppy drafting.  The problem concerns the drafting of s.147(5) of the Act, which deals with compromise agreements.

The offending section says;

“ none of the following is an independent adviser in relation to a qualifying compromise contract:

(a) a person who is a party to the contract or the complaint; and

(d) a person who is acting for a person within paragraph (a) in

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