An employment tribunal has ruled that Scottish domestic cleaning business Evora Contracts must pay out £25,777 to its former manager who was sacked while pregnant.
Antonia Ogilvie started working as a cleaner on a zero-hours contract in August last year, but was then offered the role of assistant manager and a salary of £350 per week.
Two months later, Ogilvie found out she was expecting and told her employer Kendra Mann immediately. She received the previously agreed salary until November 2022, when she suffered morning sickness and was off work for five weeks, receiving statutory sick pay.
When she returned to work in January 2023, she was paid less than £350 up until February, and was told it was because the business “did not have the funds”. Ogilvie went off sick again with pregnancy-related back pain and received statutory sick pay, until she received a message via WhatsApp from Mann in March terminating her contract with immediate effect.
The message claimed this was due to Ogilvie’s medical conditions, but also mentioned customer satisfaction. Mann stated: “I think your health has been (and quite rightly so) your main priority so maybe things have just been getting a little bit too much for you which I do fully understand. I wish you well.”
Ogilvie sued for pregnancy discrimination, claiming Mann had left her feeling her feeling “worthless”, “distressed” and in need of counselling. She failed to find another job both before giving birth in June and afterwards.
Employment Judge Sandy Kemp concluded that Ogilvie had been unlawfully discriminated against.
“We were satisfied that there was genuine upset caused to [Ogilvie]. The dismissal caused her concern as it came out of the blue, was intimated by message only, and caused her not to be able to rely on her entitlements to statutory maternity leave and statutory maternity pay,” the judge said.
Ogilvie was awarded £12,000 injury to feelings, as well as £11,290 for loss of earnings during and after her pregnancy.
Evora Contracts has been contacted for comment prior to publication.